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In this presentation, I provide some background information and tools for hackers to start experimenting with barcodes.

In this presentation, I provide some background information and tools for hackers to start experimenting with barcodes.

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  • The following presentation contains insights and opinions gathered from over 18 years of combined experience in the government INFOSEC space. It’s interspersed with some hacker humor – security presentations can be pretty dry without it.
  • Mike’s blog is at Mike teaches for Potomac Forum Contact information for Mike is at the end of this presentation.
  • If you would like us to speak for your event or group, please ask. If you would like to learn more and to keep up-to-date on groundbreaking Government security news, subscribe to the guerilla-ciso blog feed. Presentation released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. More information available at


  • 1. Barcodes Michael Smith NoVA Hackers 01/11/2010
  • 2. Who is Michael Smith?
    • 8 years active duty army
    • Graduate of Russian basic course, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA
    • DotCom survivor
    • Infantryman, deployed to Afghanistan (2004)
    • CISSP #50247 (2003), ISSEP (2005)
    • Former CISO, Unisys Federal Service Delivery Center
    • Currently a Manager in a Big Four Firm
  • 3. Most Important Thing
    • Barcode
    • =
    • Text Input
  • 4. 4 Basic Types
    • Linear/1D:UPC, Postal, and Shmoo
    • Matrix/2D: Aztec, PDF-417, QR
    • Colored/3D: Microsoft
    • Time-Phased/4D:University of Weimar
  • 5. Linear/1D UPC-A Code 128 Code 39 Postnet Code 93
  • 6. Matrix/2D PDF-417 QR Aztec Datamatrix
  • 7. Colored/3D Source:Wikimedia
  • 8. Time-Phased/4D Source:University of Weimar If this doesn’t look like an MP3 visualizer with moving color, download the presentation and view it in “slide show mode” or search the Internet.
  • 9. Barcode Uses
    • Sales Data Input
    • Inventory Management
    • Advertising
    • Geotagging
    • Tickets
    • Hooliganery
  • 10. Shmoo Barcode
    • Code 128 with border
    • Pattern: 8-4-4-4-12 (32 total)
    • Apparently hex encoding (0-9, a-f)
    • Code 128 has full ASCII character set!
    • Code 128 has limit of 79 characters
    • Shmoo scanner is lame—1D only <pout>
  • 11. QR Format Source:Wikimedia
  • 12. Making Barcodes with Zint
  • 13. Reading Barcodes
    • Android Market: Barcode Reader (ZXing)
    • iPhone Store: Barcodes (ZXing)
    • Blackberry: Beetagg
    • Other Phones (or if the above ones don’t work for you):
  • 14. ZXing Test Page
  • 15. Playtime….
    • The Part Where I Pull Out my QR Codes of Fun ™
    • Note to Self: Remember “The Rules”
    • For OPSEC reasons these are not provided via the Internetz, see me in person for them.
  • 16.
    • Questions, Comments, or War Stories?
    • rybolov(a)