Illustration by Lille Allen / The Verge

Every once in a while, something comes along that every nerd out there covets. I have lost more than my fair share of time and money on my MiSTer, I have pined for a Steam Deck, and I am currently following restock bots for any Raspberry Pi I can get my hands on for less than 100 bucks during the Grand Pi Shortage of 2022.

But few devices have captured the imagination of your friend who works in IT quite like the Flipper Zero: a hacking multi-tool shaped like a playful child’s toy and adorned with a friendly dolphin. Packed with a range of sensors, chips, and antennas, the Flipper lets you make playful mischief with all sorts of devices, from security gates to card readers.

There are drawbacks to the mischief business. The company that…

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