Pwnie Express Releases Pwn Pad Ahead of Schedule


The team at Pwnie Express seems to have a lot of trouble standing still, as it doesn’t seem more than a few months go by before they are talking about yet another disruptive open source product that they are about to unleash on the security community.

First it was their Pwn Plug, which combined an off the shelf SheevaPlug with a feature packed open source firmware that turned it into an incredibly capable security tool. Then came the absolutely diabolical Power Pwn, which hid the same type of functionality into what looked like a standard power strip.

Today they’ve launched their latest product, continuing along the same line of hiding cutting edge open source security tools in plain sight: the Pwn Pad.

Pwn Pad

Security tools on Pwn Pad
Security tools on Pwn Pad

The Pwn Pad is based around the wildly popular Nexus 7 tablet from Google, with a custom firmware that combines Android 4.2 and Ubuntu 12.04 to get the absolute best of both worlds. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to use Android-native security tools, or the latest Linux tool, you’ll be able to do it right on one device by virtue of the Pwn Pad’s operating system.

In addition to the Nexus 7, the Pwn Pad kit includes a number of high performance external hardware devices which let you connect to networks the Nexus otherwise couldn’t reach. A TP-Link TL-WN722N gives you high performance WiFi that is out of the box compatible with the most popular Linux wireless tools, and the Sena UD100 is a long-range Class 1 Bluetooth adapter that will let you connect to devices at hundreds of meters. The Pwn Pad kit also includes a USB to Ethernet adapter, so even wired networks will be within your grasp.

Pwnie Engineering

The Nexus 7 hardware is of course something anyone can grab from Google, and since we know what additional devices are included with the Pwn Pad, you could even grab those and you’d have your own Pwn Pad. Right?

Not exactly. The Pwn Pad is running a custom ROM developed by Pwnie Express that combines an up-to-date Linux kernel (for maximum hardware compatibility) and an Ubuntu chroot environment that gives it the capability to run Linux software without having to emulate a PC environment.

Combining open source software to create new uses for existing devices is clearly what Pwnie Express does best, and the Pwn Pad is no exception. While the combination of custom firmware and off the shelf hardware isn’t in itself ground breaking, it’s the combined experience and knowledge of the Pwnie Express team that makes it into a cohesive product.


Originally the Pwn Pad wasn’t set to launch until April, but as a bit of a surprise via the Pwnie Express newsletter, it was officially made available for purchase today. You can get a Pwn Pad directly from Pwnie Express for $795.00

As Pwnie Express CEO Dave Porcello said in our 2012 interview, open source is the backbone of the Pwnie Express product line. It’s good to see a company that not only has managed to capitalize on open source software, but also has the respect for it to make sure its done right.

About Tom Nardi

Tom is a Network Engineer with focus on GNU/Linux and open source software. He is a frequent submitter to "2600", and maintains a personal site of his projects and areas of research at: .
  • James Powers

    The price is reasonable. I was really hoping for a ROM though.

    • iconoclast

      But if you had a ROM you could make your own, or even (*gasp*) customize it to your needs. You might be reading too much into their statement that “open source is the backbone of the Pwnie Express product line.”

      • Paddie

        They released a free ROM (without customer support, and with some of the proprietary features removed) to the community for the Pwn Plug, no reason to think they won’t do the same with the Pad.

  • Burt Gummer

    They will release the ROM after a bit. They need to recover some costs is all. Innovation isn’t free, even the Chinese Gov’t figured that out.

  • ljvb

    Recent news related to a seperate TP product

    Obviously router and wireless devices differ from functionality, but who is to say that there is not something else int he TP Link wireless firmware equally malicious or devious. Folks may wish to review their hardware choices.

  • Brandon Golway

    So in order to save $500+ all you need to do is find someone who has the full rom and flash it to your N7 and buy yourself one of the wifi dongles.

  • alex

    lolz script kiddies rejoice!! This product is a joke, folks if you want to ‘pwn’ other people learn how to code, start out with Python. If you have money to burn, by all means be my guest.

    • dangermouse

      couldn’t agree more, you sir, get an upvote!

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