Beauty Fashion Pentesting

NFC LED Nails: VanitySec’s Interview with Baybe Doll

This week we were lucky enough to chat with Emily (Baybe Doll), who’s known for her bad ass NFC LED Nails.

Tells us about yourself

My name is Emily Mitchell, I go by the names Baybe Doll and N3x7. I am the COO of Terahash / Sagitta HPC, which develops state-of-the-art turnkey password recovery solutions, as well as the Co-Founder & CEO of the security consulting firm Haspanda. I also participate in a few bug bounty programs, own a real estate investment business, and a liquor distribution business. My primary interests are penetration testing, password cracking, NFC/RFID, and of course, fashion. I give back to the community by volunteering at several infosec conferences (SOC Goon at DEF CON, Senior Staff at Security B-Sides Las Vegas, and NCCDC), and a part of Austin Hackers Association (AHA.) I also have a rather large and impressive orchid collection!

What gave you the inspiration to create NFC nails?

I started off with cutting up old motherboards and PCI cards and placing the components on my nails by embeddeding them in acrylic, so that my nails looked like circuit boards. Then I decided I wanted to try to use functional hardware and have actual circuits on my nails. I started with the LEDs, and that quickly fueled the desire for other NFC & RFID chips as well. It’s similar to the bioglass RFID tags that people have been implanting under their skin, except my NFC nails have much higher utility: I can have up to 10 different NFC tags on my hands at any given time, there are far more chip options available, and they are quick and easy to change out. Today I might have 2x NTAG 213 and 2x Mifare Ultralight, tomorrow I might want 2x NTAG 216, 2x Mifare Classic 1K, a DESfire EV1, and a Proxmark 3 tag. It’s a lot easier to remove an acrylic nail than it is to cut your hand open.

Can you explain how they work?

The NFC LED nails have a small antenna tuned to 13.56 Mhz, which passively collects energy from NFC readers to power a small LED light. Some NFC readers emit a pulsing frequency, which will cause the LED to blink. Others are constantly transmitting, which will cause the LED to steadily glow. The nails with actual NFC & RFID tags in them rather than LEDs are tiny NFC/RFID chips (NTAG 213, NTAG 216, Mifare Classic, Mifare Ultralight) embedded in acrylic. The LEDs are useful for identifying where NFC readers are present, as well as which frequency they are transmitting on. The tags themselves have a plethora of uses, of course: authentication, identification, cryptography, payment applications, covert data exfiltration, state sponsored nfc attacks, malware, covert Nintendo Amiibo on my thumb — practically any NFC/RFID application, right at my (literal) fingertips.

Any fun tricks to show them off?

YES!
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Do you see yourself doing anything next in Fashion + Tech?

I recently built and NFC-powered tiara (albeit more of a crown than a tiara, because queens don’t wear tiaras) which won first place in the Diana Initiative tiara hacking competition. The crown features an Arduino with a PN532 NFC reader and a small TFT LCD display. The LCD displays the Austin Hackers logo when idle, and displays the contents of one of the NFC chips in my nails when it is touched. My fingertips also glow when I place the crown on my head thanks to the NFC LED nails.

–  I’m working on a Version 2.0 of the crown for next year’s conference. Beyond that, I certainly do have other future plans, but they are a secret! 🙂


Huge thanks to Emily for sharing her story with us!  Check her out on Twitter @Baybe_Doll