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This DEF CON 27 Badge Packs a Whopping 645 LEDs

DEF CON is both a security conference and a celebration of ethical hacking. Every year, infosec professionals and hackers from around the world gather in Las Vegas to attend workshops, listen to presentations, and, of course, to hack. A big part of the fun in recent years has been in making and hacking electronic badges. While those badges don’t actually get you into the conference, they are a great way to show off your skills. The SecKC DC27 Badge was built to recognize the 20th anniversary of The Matrixa hacker favorite — and it features more LEDs than any other known DEF CON badge.

To achieve that accolade, the SecKC DC27 badge has a total of 645 LEDs on a PCB that can fit in the palm of your hand. A second PCB in the shape of a fedora-wearing hacker, and positioned on top of the first PCB, contains the hardware to control the LEDs. Those are driven by IS31FL3741 chips. Different patterns and lighting effects can be displayed on the LEDs, but the default mode has falling green lights that are reminiscent of the cascading code in the The Matrix. If you want this badge, it is currently for sale on Tindie. It is, however, fairly expensive at $150 — mostly due to the cost of so many LEDs.

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Author: Cameron Coward

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