Investigating RF Controls with RTL-SDR

Katie Knowles presented an introduction to Software Defined Radio (SDR) titled 'Signal Safari: Investigating RF Controls with RTL-SDR' at BSidesNYC 2018. This talk gave attendees a crash course in using SDRs to conduct their own RF investigations.

Recent developments have made secure wireless protocols more common, but there are still countless simpler RF controls in the everyday wireless world. The onset of SDRs has made analyzing these insecure signals easier than ever. This talk explored the basics of capturing and reversing simple RF control signals, such as a basic light switch and fan remote, with the affordable RTL-SDR and open-source tools.

After investigating simple controls with GQRX, RTL_433, and GNU Radio Companion, these tools were applied in decoding signals from a remote controlĀ car fob. The talk ended with a reflection on the state of RF security and an encouragement to stay curious about new technologies.

A recording of this talk has been uploaded from BSidesNYC.