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Defcon 12 ip appliance contest

v.12 • 2004 • July 30- August 1 • Alexis Park • Las Vegas, NV

General Info

This is the first year that the IP Appliance Contest will be held.

Net-enabled devices have become more of a reality than fiction as computing power has increased and costs have decreased. Right now the industry is working on net enabling your home whether it’s your television or your refrigerator. The purpose of this contest is to think outside of the box that the industry is thinking and create TCP/IP enabled devices that are fresh, new, cool, and literally way outside of the box.

This contest is sponsored by DC480 - Phoenix, AZ.

Questions? Contact Neural at neural at

rules and regulations

What the contest is

There are two categories of devices in this contest.

The first category is TCP/IP embedded devices. These are stand alone devices which simply need to be plugged into a hub or switch. The device must host a TCP/IP aware service which someone can control and/or query a status from over a LAN or the internet and have it report back to the remote client which is controlling/querying it.

The second category is TCP/IP enabled peripherals. These are devices which must be connected to a host system such as a laptop or desktop computer which hosts the TCP/IP enabled service for the device. The host system must be able to communicate with the attached device in order to control it and/or query its status over a LAN or the internet and report back to the remote client which is controlling/querying it.

Devices in each category will be judged on originality, functionality, best value for actual cost and the coolness factor.

Three awards will be available. One for Best TCP/IP embedded device, Best TCP/IP enabled peripheral, and the Hax0r’s Choice Award where your peers vote for what they think is the most uber elite device in the entire contest.

Contest Rules

  1. All entries (which these rules shall referred to as "TCP/IP enabled device", “TCP/IP embedded device” or just "device") must be a homebrewed creation in regards to TCP/IP enabling the device. Slapping a HP Jet Direct card on a printer to TCP/IP enable it is not considered to be a homebrewed creation
  2. Entries must not be something which is commercially available. Hybrids of a commercially available item may be considered if you hacked on lots of additional functionality, but its best to create your own device rather than to improve on an existing one. Your entry must be pre-approved if you wish to create a hybrid device.
  3. Entries must not be in the service of a commercial, educational, or governmental  entity at any time prior to the contest. Bringing your work or school's existing TCP/IP enabled soda vending machine is not allowed. The idea is to create something specifically for this contest. However, if your entry is a TCP/IP enabled robot which is also entering in the Robot Warez Contest, it will be allowed as long as it’s still functioning when we do our judging for this contest.

Team Rules and Responsibilities

  1. Teams will be limited to a maximum of 3 members.
  2. Teams must submit a paper detailing their intended entry as well as a list of team members. Once you are approved you may begin construction of your entry. We're trying to avoid too many last minute/surprise entries. We also want to make sure your entry fits within the intended scope of this contest which is why we ask to pre-approve your project. We wouldn’t want you to build something that would end up being disqualified for one reason or another.
  3. Teams must keep a development log detailing design, construction and cost of their device. Development logs must be submitted at the same time that your final product is submitted for judging and peer review. Documentation should be submitted in print out form to ensure that your word document doesn't get lost or mangled in some fashion. Additional documentation in the form of a video log or presentation material will be given extra “cool” credits if it's well made and presentable to the audience. So making a brief behind the scenes video could earn you some extra points.
  4. Each team will have their device on display to demonstrate their device and garner votes from your fellow Defcon attendees for the Hax0r’s Choice Award. A team member will need to be on present to demonstrate the device during the allotted demonstration time.

Device Construction Rules

  1. The total value of a TCP/IP Embedded Device can not exceed $1000. This includes all bought and borrowed part, internal motherboards, hard drives, etc which might be used to TCP/IP enable your stand-alone device. If you think you may be questioned on the price of any components, please bring a receipt of proof of cost.
  2. The total value of a TCP/IP enabled peripheral can not exceed $250. This includes all bought and borrowed parts and excludes the value of the host system (laptop, desktop, PDA) which it may be hooked up to. If you think you may be questioned on the price of any components, please bring a receipt of proof of cost.
  3. Teams may use commercial components and kits to create their devices but be aware that the less home brew your device is, the lower it will score.
  4. Devices which may cause harm to an individual or is of a sexual nature are prohibited. Sorry. No battle bots, TCP/IP enabled flame throwers, EM Pulse machines, or TCP/IP enabled sex toys of any kind (because we could get into trouble if you “demonstrate” them for your peers.)


  1. TCP/IP embedded devices must demonstrate in real time that it hosts a TCP/IP service which can be accessed remotely by a client to control the device and/or query its status.
  2. TCP/IP enabled peripherals must demonstrate in real time that it can be controlled by a host device upon which a TCP/IP service is activated to solely control and/or query the status of the device.
  3. Each function of the device will be tested to ensure accuracy in performing its intended purpose as documented in the original contest submission.
  4. Points will be deducted if an intended function of the device fails to function or functions inaccurately.
  5. Example: If your device has 4 functions plus a status query function (5 functions in total) and 1 of the functions fail and it returns an inaccurate status report, you will only receive credit for the remaining 3 working functions.
  6. Entries whose TCP/IP components are assembled from a pre-packaged kit will generally score lower than someone who homebrewed their components. However if you take an existing kit and hack extra features onto it, you will definitely earn extra “cool” points with might help you during the judging.

Submissions and Questions:

Questions? Contact Neural - neural at Please direct questions, comments, concerns, or submissions to this email address.

Prize Gifted by


This page last updated on: Sunday, June 20, 2004

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