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Bombercat is a security tool that combines an RP2020 and an ESP32 MCUs

Aug 7, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza 828 views

The BomberCat board by ElectronicCats is a device powered by an RP2040 chip and a ESP32 microcontroller. According to the company, this security tool supports NFC technology and magnetic stripe technology. Moreover, the board was specially created to audit, read or emulate magnetic stripes and NFC cards. 

According to the product page, the RP2040 chip found on this board interfaces with a PN7150 which is a new generation NFC chip. The ESP32 module can be seen located in the back of the board. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities are enabled by the ESP32-WROOM-32 which according to its datasheet has a maximum frequency of 240MHz. 


The company also mentioned that the ESP32 co-processor comes with WiFiNINA firmware to allow Wi-Fi connections to be used with HTTP or MQTT protocols to allow relay and spoofing attacks to be tested over far distances or via web servers. 

BomberCat front
(click image to enlarge)

The documentation and examples for this board can be found in the company’s GitHub which can be accessed here. For software development, the BomberCat supports Arduino, CircuitPython and MicroPython. 

BomberCat back
(click image to enlarge)

The BomberCat board seems to have three capabilities: Card emulation mode, Read/Write mode and Magspoof mode.

Card emulation mode: (BomberCat behaves as a smart card or a tag): In this mode, BomberCat emulates an NFC tag. It does not initiate communication, it only responds to the NFC reader. A typical application of the card emulation mode is how people use NFC on their smartphones to replace several cards, badges, or tags at once (using the same smartphone for RFID access controls, contactless payments, etc.)

Read/Write (BomberCat behaves as an NFC reader/writer): In this mode, BomberCat communicates with a passive tag, an NFC smart card, or an NFC device operating in the card emulation mode. It can read or write to a tag (although reading is a more common use case because tags will often be write-protected). In this mode, BomberCat generates an RF field, while a tag or card only modulates it.

Magspoof (for magnetic stripes interaction): Magspoof mode can emulate magnetic stripes cards by emulating the electromagnetic pulses of this type of card.

BomberCat add-ons
(click image to enlarge)

The RF protocols supported by the BomberCat are listed below:

  • RF protocols supported:
    • NFCIP-1, NFCIP-2 protocol
    • ISO/IEC 14443A, ISO/IEC 14443B PICC, NFC Forum T4T modes via host interface
    • NFC Forum T3T via host interface
    • ISO/IEC 14443A, ISO/IEC 14443B PCD designed according to NFC Forum digital protocol T4T platform and ISO-DEP
    • FeliCa PCD mode
    • MIFARE Classic PCD encryption mechanism (MIFARE Classic 1K/4K)
    • NFC Forum tag 1 to 5 (MIFARE Ultralight, Jewel, Open FeliCa tag, MIFAREDESFire
    • ISO/IEC 15693/ICODE VCD mode
    • Includes NXP ISO/IEC14443-A and Innovatron ISO/IEC14443-B intellectual property licensing rights

Specifications listed for the BomberCat include:

  • Processor System:
    • Cortex M0+ processor (up to 133 MHz)
    • ESP32-WROOM-32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 (up to 240 MHz)
  • Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi(w/ WiFiNINA)
    • BLE 
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Type-C 2.0
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 1x Status LED, 1x User button, 1x Reset button
  • Other Features:
    • NFC Reader, Card and NFC Forum
    • Magspoof coil
    • Charger Battery LiPo pads

Further information

The BomberCat is on presale for $105.50 until August 31. The regular price for this device is $129.90. 

(advertise here)

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