Ringtail Nautilus – Review and Feedback

Since I’m interested in Cybersecurity, I really appreciate physical tools which can help me to “hack” something, especially physical equipment sold in the public market. When I found something (maybe) hackable, I got two questions :

  • Can I divert it from its main use ?
  • Wouldn’t there be any vulnerability to report to the manufacturer ?

That’s why I was looking for an UART USB.

By searching the web, I found Ringtail.ch owned by Paul DUNCAN which “design and manufacture specialized security tools for pentesters”. It’s on this store that I found the graal : Nautilus UART USB !

Get yours at ringtail.ch for only SFr. 20 (~19€) !

Quick review

The Nautilus USB UART is based on the FT232* chip, a commonly used chip to get serial port on equipments.

*(You don’t need specific driver because operating systems mainly integrates it. However if you need it for any reason, here is the manufacturer link to get drivers : FTDI Chip – VCP Drivers)

By design, Nautilus integrates a selectable operation voltage which can be set to 3.3V or 5V depending on the equipment you connect it to. The selection is made easy by an integrated switch (that is more pleasant to use than the basic jumper…).

What’s about outputs ? There are 6 outputs (from right to left) :

  • 5V
  • 3.3V
  • GND (Ground)
  • GND (Ground)
  • TX (Transmit)
  • RX (Receive)

Please note :

  • 5V or 3.3V power are not always necessary if your target can be powered with it’s original (or an alternative) power source.
  • Don’t forget to cross TX (on Nautilus) with RX (on target) and RX (on Nautilus) with TX (on target).

Feedback

Nautilus is the perfect tool I was looking for :

  • The value for money is perfect
  • The tool is small and can be easily integrated in an embedded system
  • The handling is perfect for prototyping

However, something was missing with Nautilus : a 3D printed case to avoid short-circuit when prototyping.

That’s why I decided to design a (perfect fit) case for my Nautilus and to shared it with you :

You can get the .STL file at Thingiverse.

Hope you enjoy this post, thanks for reading !

2 Comments

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Hello and thank you for this really nice article!

The plastic case you designed for 3D-printing is excellent, I have it on every one of my Nautilus gadgets, and the fit is just perfect – no need for hot-glue or anything like that, just plop it in and it holds 😛

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