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Remote Chaos Experience 2020

Remote Chaos Experience (rC3) was 2020's remote version of Chaos Communication Congress. Apart from the online talks, there was a huge 2D world to explore, and various online sessions. I mostly watched the talks, though, so here are the ones I liked best.

You can find the recordings on

How to survive in spacecraft is a talk about spacecraft life support systems: generating oxygen, scrubbing CO2, the chemical reactions involved. Pretty fascinating.

Operation Mindfuck Vol. 4 is a collection of random interesting facts. The speakers talk about unusual music keyboards, DIY plotters, April Fools internet RFCs ("scenic routing for IP packets"), and many others.

Scientific Literacy 101 explains how the scientific system works, and gives some tips on reading papers, looking for sources, and training your internal "bullshit detector".

Hacking the Nintendo Game & Watch was about Nintendo's recently released mini-console that allowed you to play some NES-era games. The speaker managed to reverse-engineer it (turns out it includes a NES emulator), open it up for homebrew games (there is a convenient library for programming) and emulation, and even run DOOM. The talk is well-prepared and easy to follow.

Unconventional HDL synthesis experiments - if you played with FPGAs and programming Verilog, you will enjoy this talk about compiling Excel spreadsheets to logic gates, and synthesizing circuits out of 7400-series chips.

RAMN: Resistant Automotive Miniature Network talks about hardware for experimenting with automotive software. They have a programmable board with a few cores connected by a bus, and connect them to CARLA, an open-source driving simulator. It was cool to have a look into the world of car electronics and the standards that they have to follow.

Hacking German Elections should serve as your reminder that using computers for elections is a bad idea. The authors focus on a case of vote counting (not voting itself), and show how the procedure turned out to be deeply flawed: the software was full of holes, but also there were multiple opportunities to tamper with the vote counts, and the counting was completely non-transparent to any external observer.

Escape the macOS sandbox and TCC is a security talk about new mechanisms in macOS. There are various protections (fine-grained permissions instead of root, code signing, making the base system partition read-only, etc.), but some of them are relatively recent and there are interesting ways of defeating them.

Attacking CPUs with Power Side Channels from Software: Warum leaked hier Strom? is a talk about power side-channel attacks: if we can detect how much power the CPU uses, we can not only detect what instruction is being run, but also what's the data (for example, the multiply instruction will take up more power if the numbers have more ones - with some preparation, this is enough to extract an encryption key).