Researcher hacks Tamagotchi and runs its own software




Researcher hacks Tamagotchi and runs its own software

A Canadian researcher has a Tamagotchi hacked and has managed to make its own software to run on. A complicating factor was the lack of documentation and processing power. Also, it was difficult to Tamagotchi to get the software.

The Canadian researcher Natalie Silvanovich, in daily life security researcher with BlackBerry, presents the results of its hacking attempts on Sunday the CCC hackers conference in Hamburg. Last year, Silvanovich about even a presentation, but in the past year, they are there for the first time succeeded to run on the Tamagotchi’s software. “As a kid I played a lot with Tamagotchi and as an adult I thought, I can also just hacking,” says the researcher compared Tweakers.

The devices do not have security on board to carry out third-party software, but it was difficult to turn. Their own software on the device “It was a lot of trial and error,” says Silvanovich. “There is no debug option, so you do not know why you do not work.” Also, there is no documentation on the operation of the Tamagotchi, making Silvanovich was trying until its software worked. Anything “There is nothing documented far the operation of the microcontroller or on the operation of the gates,” said Silvanovich. In addition, the computing power is limited.

Also the installation of software on the Tamagotchi was difficult. Eventually, they used an accessory, which she had found. A security issue “I have designed a sign where you can stop and then my software is placed on the accessory accessory,” says Silvanovich. By then placing the accessory in the Tamagotchi and start a game, its code is executed. At this time, it just goes to proof of concepts such as graphics and animation, and no usable software.

New Tamagotchi’s are much more extensive than those of a decade back, which were popular in the Netherlands, but they are still not very powerful. “A Tamagotchi has 512 or 1024 bytes of internal memory,” says Silvanovich. “The code runs directly from memory, so it quickly becomes full.” As a result, the functionality of self-written programs is limited. Nevertheless, it would work Silvanovich lead to homebrew software for the Tamagotchi.

The software writes them into machine code. Now Silvanovich knows how to turn on the Tamagotchi’s own software she has plans for increased software. “I want to make for example a TV remote my Tamagotchi,” said Silvanovich. “Technically speaking, but I still have to write the code.” According Silvanovich she’s even been approached by hackers who want to implement the Tamagotchi cryptography. “Though I do not know why so well,” she says. Interested parties can the development tools that has made ​​Silvanovich download from Github.


Left: a proof of concept of Silvanovich, right: the sign that Silvanovich designed to flash to the accessory.


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