Introduction to Embedded Exploitation

We are pleased to announce the offering of a new training course. This is a 5 day course and will focus on vulnerability research on embedded systems.


David Barksdale – David is Director of Research at Exodus Intelligence and manages the 0day team. David is an expert in software and hardware reverse engineering. Last year he won a PWNIE award for Best Server-Side Bug for a Cisco firewall RCE exploit. David started hacking at a young age and was published in the Summer 2001 issue of 2600. In fall 2003 he reverse engineered Yahoo! Messenger’s new authentication protocol and wrote an exploit for a 0-day vulnerability in Microsoft DirectX, all before graduating from The University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He has also contributed to the Linux kernel, the Open Embedded project, and many more open source projects.

Elvis Collado – Elvis is an up and coming Senior Researcher on Exodus Intelligence’s 0day team. Prior to Exodus, he worked at TippingPoint DVLabs where he researched submissions to the world’s largest and most diverse bug bounty program and developed filters for them. After DVLabs, Elvis worked as a consultant for Praetorian performing penetration tests for large manufacturers of embedded devices. While at Exodus, Elvis has developed several 0day exploits for market leading routers and firewalls. Elvis has presented at Defcon, BSides, CircleCityCon, GrrCon, and InfoSec Southwest.

Date & Location

March 5 through 9th: Austin Texas


  • Laptop (Intel i5 dual-core or better)
  • USB Type-A Ports – You’ll need to be able to use the provided breakout boards
  • Disassembler (IDA Pro or radare2)
  • Please be familiar with the disassembler you choose.
  • Experience with reversing binaries (any architecture)
  • VirtualBox or VMWare
  • An embedded device of your choice. (Warranties will be voided) Please select a reasonably sized device. We don’t want people bringing in Cisco 6500s or so.


This 5-day course is designed to help students gain the knowledge and experience needed to audit and exploit RTOS and Linux based embedded devices. Students will work through multiple case studies with physical devices to find and exploit each 0day vulnerability found by the trainers. Each case study will use a different device and highlight the approach used to find and exploit each bug. On the last day Students will be encouraged to bring in their own device and apply all of the techniques that were taught with guidance from the instructors.


Students will be gaining experience with:

  • Communicating with common serial protocols.
  • Utilizing the XI Breakout board 
  • Building custom toolchains
  • Organizing JTAG data dumps into something meaningful
  • Interpreting Datasheet(s)
  • Developing custom shellcode
  • Deep dive into the MIPS architecture
  • Methods of extracting firmware

Students will also be given challenges to work on outside of class.


To purchase use the link below, or email