R2B2: Button Basher

This robot will probably make you take out your phone and maybe fix some features in there, because it’ll make you question just how safe the information in your phone is. If you think that your flimsy password will deter anyone, think again!

This robot is called R2B2, short for Robotic Reconfigurable Button Basher. It does the dirty work of cracking Android passwords by trying every single combination until it hits a match. Not only that, it does it in around 19 hours, less than the time in a day. If you lost your phone for a day, you could essentially have all of your information stolen!

Now the interesting thing is that R2B2 isn’t even physically worth that much. It’s made of three $10 servomotors and ┬ámany 3D-printed plastic parts, overall built for less than $200. It runs on an Arduino microcontroller, wields a plastic stylus to tap screens, and uses a cheap webcam to detect when a correct password is entered.

Alas, R2B2 does have its shortcomings. It’s so far restricted to Android numerical codes, because brute-forcing locks on an iPhone on default settings. Of course, you can always change your settings a bit, and prevent the robot from getting very far. Just make sure that your passcode isn’t the one that the robot guesses in the first three tries.

This robot was created by Justin Engler and Paul Vines, the former of whom is a security engineer, so it looks like we won’t have these roaming the streets and stealing info anytime soon. Instead, this robot is being considered for the improvement of security systems, as sort of a pass system.

Better security is more privacy, so make sure that all of your information and mobile devices are locked down securely!

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