Flipper Zero, everything you need to know

29 December 2023 9 minutes Author: Cyber Witcher

Flipper Zero: Your all-in-one tool for interactive electronics

Explore the extensive capabilities of Flipper Zero, the all-in-one tool for tech enthusiasts, in this in-depth article. Immerse yourself in the functionality of this multi-purpose hacking tool designed for various digital and RF interactions. The article provides an in-depth overview of how the Flipper Zero can be used for RFID, NFC and infrared communication protocols, making it a vital gadget for electronics and digital communication. This comprehensive guide is ideal for those who want to understand the full potential of the Flipper Zero in the field of modern technology.

In this article,  you will find an in-depth analysis of Flipper Zero, a multi-functional gadget that is perfect for tech enthusiasts. Its main functions, possibilities of interaction with various digital and radio frequency systems, including RFID, NFC and infrared protocols are described. The article also provides information on the practical application and potential of this innovative device in the modern technological field.

Flipper Zero: A full review of the multifunctional gadget

In the summer of 2020, Flipper Devices Inc. launched on Kickstarter with the device Flipper Zero. Their initial goal was to raise $60K. But in the first day, $1 million was collected. In a day?! Yes, exactly in a day. The device made such a big fuss in the geek community that every second Internet user who sits on TikTok or YouTube knows about Flipper Zero.

At the very least, you’ve probably seen videos on the Internet of Flipper Zero opening the cover of a Tesla charging port, turning off TVs in public places, and “breaking” iOS devices. These are not all possible uses of Flipper Zero.

General information about the device

Flipper Zero is a Tamagotchi for hackers, with tons of modules to explore the hardware around you. The device can read and reproduce sub-GHz signals (barriers, gates, weather stations and many other gadgets), emulate and record RFID, and perform many other similar functions. Flipper Zero has a soap shape and measures 10.5 x 4.8 x 3.1 cm; it’s quite heavy, so don’t worry if it feels like it’s fallen out of your pocket.

The design of this case has been developed by the company over a very long period of time. Charging, file transfer and firmware are carried out via USB Type-C. If you buy Flipper, make sure you have a Micro SD card (I have a 16GB card which is enough for everything). (And now let’s talk about modules). NFC, RFID and iButton modules are located on the back cover. On the left is the infrared port. On the right is the USB port. Below it is a micro SD memory card, and on top – GPIO outputs for connecting external devices. A dolphin with a unique name lives inside the flipper.

Sub-GHz

Sub-GHz

The Flipper Zero has an antenna that can read and emulate signals in the 300-928 MHz range. There are regional restrictions for signals, which I think is correct. Limits for Russia on OFW – 433.05-434.79 MHz, 868.15-868.55 MHz, 915 MHz, 925 MHz. This is enough to open barriers and gates.

There are two signal reading modes:

  • Read (reads and decodes the signal for reading information)

  • Read RAW (reads and saves the raw signal)

Region restrictions apply to signal emulation. That is, you will be able to catch a signal that does not fit the restrictions, but Flipper will not be able to emulate it.

If you don’t know what frequency your gate fob works on, there is a Frequency Analyzer program. The program simply shows the frequency on the air.

Also, programmers write their programs to work with the Sub-GHz antenna. For example, Enchanted Sub‑GHz Chat is a program for exchanging messages between two Flipper Zeros on Sub‑GHz frequencies. This antenna can do a lot, but in the right hands. It and the module are located in the same place as the iButton with the IR port.

RFID

Flipper Zero supports low-frequency radio frequency identification technology, which is used in access control systems, animal chips and systems Unlike NFC, RFID cards and tags do not have a high level of security. For example, intercoms are starting to switch from 1-Wire (iButton) to RFID tags. Flipper Zero has an antenna to read such tags. It is located on the back of the device.

The standard Flipper Zero RFID application can be used to read, write and emulate tags. It can also record its own information through the manual addition function. However, it is done in HEX format. As an example of use, it is recommended to immediately record labels from the intercom. PS RFID works at 125 kHz.

NFC

NFC

Flipper Zero has a module that works with NFC tags and cards; NFC has a higher level of security than RFID. That’s why Flipper bank cards work with NFC. Flipper can read, emulate and write NFC cards and tags; like RFID, it can also add custom tags using the “Manually Add” feature. Example of using the NFC module: Let’s say you forgot your card at home after using it at the office.

If the card is stored in Flipper Zero, you can easily broadcast it anywhere, anytime. I used to carry my school card with me to go through the turnstiles, but now my card is stored in Flipper Zero. Cool, right?)

Here’s an example of what not to do. But that’s one of Flipper Zero’s strengths.

iButton

 

iButton

Since we’ve already started talking about keys, let’s talk about the iButton. There are three unusual pins on the back of the case. At first I wasn’t sure what it was. It turned out that this is a module for working with an intercom “tablet”. Currently, not all houses are equipped with intercoms with radio frequency identification. With the help of this module, you can read and emulate an iButton tablet. I myself do not have such a tablet anywhere, but I tried something tricky. Once I was walking with a friend on vacation (I already had a Flipper).

As I approached the front door, I saw his intercom. I immediately thought: “I have to try to hack it.” At that time, I already had the iButton Fuzzer (later I will explain how to install the app on OFW). Then I applied the necessary pin codes and went to the site ……. Oops! The intercom rang with the sound of an open lock, and we calmly entered our friend’s front room. The module has a strange design, but you will get used to it after a few tries. Geeks make their own external modules that emulate iButton.

Infrared

Infrared

Let’s start turning off the TV. But that’s a joke, let’s talk about the infrared port. Using the infrared port, you can send commands to TVs, air conditioners, multimedia systems and similar devices that have receivers. The Flipper Zero’s IR port can receive, store and copy signals. There is also the option of a universal remote control that shields possible signals from all types of equipment. It can choose TVs, projectors, audio players and air conditioners. This is a very useful feature.

Suppose, for example, that you lost the TV remote control, and you need to immediately watch a cartoon on TV. Can you record the remote control? You can use universal. Or you can record and use your own TV remote. There are many uses for this module: if you happen to come across a video on TikTok or YouTube of school children using Flipper Zero to turn off the TV at McDonald’s, then this is the work of a universal remote control.

GPIO

GPIO

Виводи GPIO розташовані на верхній частині Flipper Zero. Цей модуль використовується тільки для модуля Wifi. Цей модуль можна використовувати для UART, SPI, I2C і подібних. Flipper Zero Використовуюється для підключення різних зовнішніх модулів: модуль CC1101 з розширеною субГГц антеною, iButton, який емулює домофон, та WiFi плати. Також у є WiFi модуль, який застосовують для налаштувань WiFi через USB. Це стосується, наприклад, налаштувань NFC. Рідко коли користуюся WiFi модулем, оскільки він може зламатися. Було б набагато зручніше, якби в Flipper Zero був вже вбудований WiFi модуль.

USB

BadUSB

Flipper Zero can be used to do the dirty work on your computer; it supports USB keyboard emulation. This can be used for BadUSB vulnerabilities. The script is written in the Rubber Ducky Script language. By default, Flipper Zero has four scripts. There are actually two of them, and these two scripts are created for two systems: Windows and MacOS. These scripts install qFlipper, which will be discussed later, and draw dolphins in a text editor.

A couple of scripts:

  1. To change the wallpaper on KDE (I did a similar prank at school)

  2. Sound playback on Windows

U2F

That’s pretty cool, but even cooler is U2F. Flipper Zero also has a two-factor authentication key. This key can be added to login to Google, Github and similar platforms. For example, you can link it to a Google account and everything worked great. USB can also perform the functions of a mouse (not very convenient, but in extreme cases it can save).

qFlipper

qFlipper app without Flipper Zero connected

There is a Windows/MacOS/Linux program to work with Flipper Zero. It is called qFlipper.

Through this application you can:

  • Download firmware/updates

  • View logs

  • Work with the file system

  • Control Flipper Zero

This app can be installed using Flipper Zero itself. Just open the BadUSB section and find the file “Install_qFlipper_<your OS>” there. It will automatically install qFlipper on your computer.

This is already qFlipper with Flipper Zero connected

True, downloading a file via USB is already very slow. It took me 2 minutes to download a 2MB file, although pulling out the SD card and inserting it into the PC would be faster. There are problems with this. The functionality of the program on the PC is slightly less than in the mobile application.

Flipper Mobile

The main and important screens of the program

The mobile app has the same functionality as the PC, but the mobile app allows you to install apps on Flipper Zero via the app store.

This video shows how to make an Android app. The program store on Flipper Zero is very voluminous. It has many applications downloaded by users. The only downside: after each firmware update, all programs have to be updated. All settings are made via Bluetooth, which seems to make this action slow. And yes, the companion app is a very cool solution.

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