What's on the Wire? Physical Layer Tapping with Project Daisho

Presented at Black Hat USA 2013, Aug. 1, 2013, 2:15 p.m. (60 minutes)

We believe that flaws in network protocols will not be discovered unless physical layer communication tapping solutions are made available to security researchers. In order to have confidence in our communication media we need the ability to monitor and modify the packets transferred on the wire. 802.11 network monitoring allowed the flaws in WEP and WPA to be exposed, Bluetooth Low Energy monitoring has shown problems in the key exchange protocol, but we are often more trusting of wired connections. Project Daisho is an attempt to fix that trust by allowing researchers to investigate wired protocols using existing software tools wherever possible. Daisho is an open source, extensible, modular network tap for wired communication media such as gigabit Ethernet, HDMI connections, and USB 3.0 connections. All aspects of the project are open source, including the hardware designs, software and FPGA cores. The project is producing the first open source USB 3.0 FPGA core.


  • Michael Ossmann - Great Scott Gadgets
    Michael Ossmann is a wireless security researcher who makes hardware for hackers. He founded Great Scott Gadgets in an effort to put exciting, new tools into the hands of innovative people.
  • Michael Kershaw - Kismet Wireless
  • Dominic Spill
    Dominic Spill has been building a Bluetooth packet sniffers since 2007; last year he took over as lead developer for project Ubertooth and has recently begun working on Daisho. He has previously presented his Bluetooth and Daisho work at DEF CON, ShmooCon, USENIX WOOT, and Troopers. He has a passion for building open source tools to allow curious people to examine the technologies and protocols that we use to communicate.