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Flipper hacking device to sell $80M

Flipper Zero hacking device, a popular hacking device, may have caught your attention. The 2020-founded company left Russia at the war’s start and moved on. After selling almost $5 million in Kickstarter preorders, it claims it will sell $80 million in products this year and $25 million last year.

They sell what? Flipper Zero is a “portable gamified multi-tool” for cybersecurity enthusiasts like penetration testers, curious nerds, students, and criminals. The tool lets you control wireless devices (like garage openers), RFID card systems, remote keyless systems, key fobs, barriers, and more. It can simulate many lock systems.

Even though I’m not a hacker, I’ve been able to open garages, elevators, and other locking systems with the system. It’s fun to play with, and it shows how insecure much of the world is. However, I wonder if 300,000+ hacking devices that make it easy to capture car key signals and gate openers and use them to open apertures (including Tesla charge ports) are a good idea.

My limit for playing with it has been simple: The device needs a software update, but I’m paranoid about plugging USB devices into my computer. I received a Moscow-shipped hacking device. I don’t have an air-gapped computer for that. I may try updating the device from an iOS app next. The firmware is open-source, the company says.

I can only imagine how hard it was to build this startup during a war and tons of sanctions, but the company found a way. “Current events will not affect the Flipper Zero production in any way, and all ordered devices will be shipped to backers and those who have pre-ordered,” it said on Instagram.

Flipper Devices said its team “consists of both Ukrainians and Russians” and is “radically against the ongoing ‘special military operation, and none of our team members support it.”

UPDATE: A spokesperson says the company is not Russian. The CEO and over 10% of the team are Ukrainian, he says. He adds that Flipper Devices is a distributed company building its London HQ. “Flipper Devices doesn’t ship devices to Russia, doesn’t hire in Russia, and has worked to move all of their employees away from Russia,” it says. Some employees have Russian passports and may visit family or for other personal matters.

Update: An iOS app can update the device without USB.

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