The popular virtual pet of the 90s has evolved. Experts in ethical hacking report the emergence of Pwnagotchi, a “modernized version” of the popular Tamagotchi toy, assembled into a popular single-board computer model capable of intercepting network packets to subsequently access to wireless networks.
Pwnagotchi will not be for sale in any store, e-commerce website, dark web forum, etc. However, because the source code and instructions for the operation of this virtual pet will be available online, any user with the necessary knowledge and resources will be able to assemble their own “hacker pet” by themselves (complete paper here).
According to the managers of the Pwnagotchi Project, this virtual being operates under the same premise of the classic Tamagotchi; only that, unlike its counterpart of the 90s, Pwnagotchi feeds exclusively on packets sent by users connected to a wireless network.
“Just like the original Tamagotchi, Pwnagotchi features mood-shifting algorithms, happiness and development levels. The main difference is that our version of the virtual pet only ingests network packets that wireless connection users send during new connection negotiation stage (process known as handshake)”, mentioned the creators on their web site.
This virtual pet does not select WPA keys independently. Instead, the creators mention that Pwnagotchi gets help from a neural network with machine learning capabilities, although they did not provide further details about this feature. In addition, the authors of the code mention that additional plugins will be released in the future.
The creators of Pwnagotchi claim that the idea was born during some day when there was not much to do. “We decided to create something new from the components we had at hand; the basis of this pet hacker is basically a Raspberry Pi Zero W single board device”, mentioned on their website.
It is important to note that, according to the ethical hacking experts who developed Pwnagotchi, any Raspberry single board PC is useful for integrating the system, even the oldest models still available on the market. However, experts did not mention whether it is possible to develop a Pwnagotchi using similar devices as basis.
According to experts in ethical hacking from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), Pwnagotchi software can be used in any modern Linux environment, plus the computer equipment of those who wish to integrate their own Pwnagotchi should not have very advanced hardware specifications.