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[Discuss-gnuradio] IEEE Signal Intelligence Challenge -- Recap and Previ

From: Martin Braun
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] IEEE Signal Intelligence Challenge -- Recap and Preview
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:31:12 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.3.0


in 2014, the IEEE Student Branch Karlsruhe organized a signal
intelligence challenge for students. I had promised to send a recap to
this list, but completely forgotten about it -- however, this does mean
that I can already advertise next year's contest. Unlike the 2014
contest, which was organized solely by the Karlsruhe team, the 2015
contest will be organized in cooperation with people from Darmstadt,
which will make it more accessible to a larger number of students. So,
if any of what you're about to read sounds interesting, look out for the
2015 announcement! The prize ceremony will be held again at Karlsruhe's
GPN (a smaller cousin of the annual CCC congress).

The (German) website for this contest is still online at
http://www-ieee.etec.uni-karlsruhe.de/?page_id=147. A video of the prize
ceremony, including a presentation by myself about the contest and some
pictures by the winners can be found here:
http://bl0rg.net/~florolf/gpn14/5837.mp4 (In German, again).

To recap, at the beginning of 2014 we announced a contest that would
consist of teams having to detect, demodulate and decode wireless
signals, transmitted in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The organizing committee
consisted of researchers from CEL (my old homestead) and the cryptology
lab from ITI, which gave us a lot of ideas in creating wireless signals.

In total, there were 10 puzzles to solve, each being rewarded with 10
points or less (partial solutions gave partial points; the correct
identification of a frequency carrying one of our signals already was
awarded with 1 point, if such a frequency was even statable). We also
awarded bonus points for special efforts, clever tactics etc.
The winning team came ahead with 52 points.

As a hint, all of the clear texts had somehow to do with "Star Wars".
This meant, for example, that if the signal contained GPS coordinates,
the puzzle wasn't solved, but that it would be worth checking out those
GPS coordinates.

Altogether, we thought it was a great success, even though only a small
number of students participated (which will hopefully change in coming
years). Students were highly motivated to try out their DSP knowledge in
the real world, and like it or not, they certainly learned something :)
Also, a lot of these students were new to GNU Radio etc., but didn't
seem to struggle with its usage.

I'm happy to discuss anything other than the actual signals here, if
there's any more questions on this!


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