Joe Grand

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Joe Grand
Joe Grand - Jason Scott interview videograb (6717002123).jpg
Grand in 2012
BornSeptember 3, 1975[1]

Joe Grand is an American electrical engineer, inventor, and hardware hacker, known in the hacker community as Kingpin. He achieved mainstream popularity after his appearance on Prototype This!, a Discovery Channel television show.[2] He specializes in, "finding security flaws in hardware devices and educating engineers on how to increase the security of their designs".[citation needed] Grand has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs regarding government and homeland computer security under his internet handle, Kingpin.

Early life and education[edit]

Grand became involved in electronics at the age of seven and later joined Boston-based hacker group L0pht Heavy Industries. He gained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Boston University. He has published two books and co-authored a number of books relating to hardware hacks and network security.

He received an honorary Doctorate of Science in Technology from the University of Advancing Technology, Arizona.


In 2007 and 2008, Grand and his three co-presenters (Mike North, Terry Sandin and 'Zoz' Brooks) filmed 13 episodes of Prototype This! which were aired later in 2008 and in early 2009. The show received positive reviews and ratings and Grand continues to host additional features and content on his site.

Business ventures[edit]

After his television appearance, Grand launched Grand Idea Studio,[3] a San Francisco-based research and development firm.[4] In 2009, Grand was a member of a team that demonstrated vulnerabilities in San Francisco's e-parking meters.[5] He is also the sole proprietor of Kingpin Empire, an apparel project that gives back to the community through charitable donations.[citation needed]

Other activities include exhibiting hardware as art in a San Francisco gallery art exhibition titled When Electronics Become Art[6][7] and designing the electronic badges for DEFCON 2006,[8] 2007,[9] 2008,[10] 2009,[11] and 2010.[12] Grand also served as judge of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's DEFCON badge hack contest,[13] and as an instructor at DEFCON Kids.[14][15]

Grand remains an active member of the electronics engineering and security communities and is a regular guest speaker at international conferences including at Black Hat USA 2013.


  1. ^ Personal Resume/CV found on Grand's Grand Idea Studio website
  2. ^ "Your Prototypical TV Host". The Santa Barbara Independent. October 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Vamosi, Robert (20 Jul 2012). "The Best Hacking Film You Haven't Seen (Yet)". Forbes. Retrieved 13 Nov 2017.
  5. ^ McCullagh, Declan (30 Jul 2009). "Hackers: We can bypass San Francisco e-parking meters". CNET. Retrieved 13 Nov 2017.
  6. ^ McMillan, Robert (26 Oct 2017). "San Francisco gallery shows hacker Joe Grand's work as art". InfoWorld. Retrieved 15 Nov 2017.
  7. ^ "San Francisco Gallery Shows Hacker's Work as Art". PC World. October 26, 2007. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  8. ^ "Defcon badges go high tech". The Inquirer. August 5, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  9. ^ "Defcon diary: The real story". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2008-10-27.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Defcon badges kill TVs". The Inquirer. August 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  11. ^ "Exclusive Peek Inside Defcon's High-Tech Badge". Wired. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  12. ^ "DEFCON 18 Badge".
  13. ^ Jue, Aaron (8 Jun 2016). "EFF's Badge Hack Pageant Returns to DEF CON". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 13 Nov 2017.
  14. ^ "Hackers school next generation at DEFCON Kids". Red Pixels Ventures Limited. 5 Jun 2012. Retrieved 13 Nov 2017.
  15. ^ "Hackers school next generation at DEFCON Kids". 24 Jun 2011. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 13 Nov 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Joe Grand at Wikimedia Commons