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My uni implemented Bluetooth beacon based attendance monitoring.

Raspberry pi + cloned beacons = 100% attendance.

Idiots 😂

(Edit for clarity: app on smartphone, Bluetooth beacon in each room)

Comments
  • 4
    Clone the beacons and sign everyone into the wrong classes? 😜

    Is it a commercial thing they've bought? Do you know the name?
  • 9
    @nate yeah it is a commercial system they've bought into, they clearly liked it because it requires minimal hardware investment (in comparison to RFID readers at every room entrance)

    Don't really want to give away the name on the off chance of finding one of their devs here
  • 19
    Why are they even tracking attendance at the university level?
  • 2
    Where are you hiding the beacons??

    Don’t get caught! 😮
  • 2
    Pretty sure if the Dev was on DevRant, they would know. Not many companies do Bluetooth attendance
  • 2
    @HollowKitty maybe they have a legal reason

    In Portugal it's done because insurance companies only cover when the student is in university
  • 12
    @pmso also imaging someone committing a crime and using his "presence" in class as an alibi...
  • 3
    @HollowKitty at least for my community college, TA abuse was a large problem, and to combat it, they made it so if you were on tuition assistance, then you automatically failed a class after 3 missed classes to make people go to class. Then they rolled it out to everyone, regardless of TA status.
  • 1
    @Kamaropoulos that sounds creepy..
  • 3
    So you have to wear a tag like a dog?
  • 1
    @finiteAutomaton no, the beacons are fixed in each room and your phone waits to see Bluetooth announcements but since they're beacons, doesn't actually connect
  • 2
    @creeperjack does that mean you don't get attendence credit if you leave your Bluetooth off? The comp sci program must have an issue.

    Now that you can emulate one beacon, just switch it back and forth really fast. Emulate all the beacons at once. Scatter a few of those "multi beacons" around campus until everyone is everywhere all the time.
  • 0
    @deadPix3l exactly! That is my plan, I was thinking about using the Students Union. The main restriction with raspberry pi beacons are they need a power source (obviously they are much more versatile) whereas the ones in the rooms are just powered by a tiny battery
  • 1
    @creeperjack you could try reproducing it with an Arduino. Much less power hungry because if the whole "just a microcontroller with no real OS" thing. Maybe even make an attiny with a Bluetooth stack. Could probably power it from a AA battery.
  • 0
    @deadPix3l that's a good idea but I don't really have enough time for yet another involved side project being as I already have something that works 😂
  • 1
    @deadPix3l although now you have me intrigued 😂, do you have any recommendations for Bluetooth stacks?
  • 1
    @creeperjack If you want to power a beacon over USB and also customize it a bit, you could also use this: https://learn.adafruit.com/introduc...

    I have it and it works great.
  • 1
    @finiteAutomaton that might be good to experiment with but I already have a few pi0s performing this task quite well.

    A low power attiny arrangement would be cool enough to draw my time towards it because then it would be a lot easier to hide if I attempt to register everyone
  • 1
    @creeperjack I don't. I'm aware that many exist, some with a microcontroller+wifi+Bluetooth all-in-one form factor even but I can't say I've used anything other than an attiny.

    But fun fact, an Arduino is little more than an avr hard soldered into a programmer. Once you have a working Arduino version, it's just a few pin names to change and you can make an attiny. Really cuts the size down a lot!
  • 0
    @deadPix3l oh yes I'm quite aware of that 😂, I would just need to find a suitably low powered Bluetooth stack, preferably low cost too
  • 1
    @creeperjack the ones from Redbear look nice. And Nordic makes some nice looking ARM chips with BLE built-in.

    Never used em, but figured I would help because this seems like an interesting idea.
  • 1
    @deadPix3l got one of these for prototyping: https://adafruit.com/product/3406/

    Ah another side project 🙈
  • 1
    @creeperjack awesome! Can't wait to see the results.
  • 3
    Here the students are fighting against any sort of attendance tracking. Simply because it makes lives of students with children or the ones who have to work, unecessarily complicated. Some lectures are recorded on video even. Some courses which are more hands on require attendence though but if you have a valid reason for not being able to participate all the time, they'll find a solution with you.
    In the end it is your own responsability.

    This is so however only in the CS department. Other subjects hve attendence monitoring and it's a struggle and a discussion followed by protests every year. Some professors are just assholes.
  • 0
    This reminds me of the RFID manipulations in "Little Brother".

    @creeperjack How is your progress?

    One question: Your *phone* registers the beacons and use what it registers to send your attendance? It might be possible to manipulate it without BT, directly in the app.
  • 0
    @sbiewald haven't had time to do any more work on it. It works, I used it last semester, I just haven't made a beacon that cycles through all the rooms yet to really screw with them.

    And yes, you could probably spoof it directly in software but that would require everyone to do something (whereas my method can get them as long as they have BT on) and probably they'd need rooted phones
  • 0
    @sbiewald it could be possible that the authentication also involves the beacon reporting connected phones.

    Either way you could probably spoof yourself without BT, or you can spoof EVERYONE using Bluetooth! Sounds way more fun!!!
  • 0
    @deadPix3l the beacons do not report, they are coin cell powered for cost reasons. Saves hard wiring into the building. Although implementations for smaller numbers of beacons that are network connected do exist
  • 0
    @creeperjack alright well then easy! You could just perform the logic portion of the reporting and skip BT for yourself, but I think spoofing everyone via fake beacons is so much more fun!
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