Universal Radio Hacker – Investigate Wireless Protocols Like a Boss

Universal Radio Hacker - Investigate Wireless Protocols Like a Boss xploitlab

Wireless network is everywhere, you can find WiFi signal anywhere. But the wireless protocol can be analyze without having to be connected with the wireless network. You can investigate unknown wireless protocols with tool called “Universal Radio Hacker (URH)“. Because this tool is one of the tools presented in the blackhat program.


The Universal Radio Hacker (URH) is a tool for analyzing unknown wireless protocols. With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) such protocols often appear in the wild. Many IoT devices operate on frequencies like 433.92 MHz or 868.3 MHz and use proprietary protocols for communication. Reverse-engineering such protocols can be fascinating (»What does my fridge talks about?«) and reveal serious security leaks e.g. when bypassing smart alarm systems and door locks.


The Universal Radio Hacker (URH) is a software for investigating unknown wireless protocols. Features include

  • hardware interfaces for common Software Defined Radios
  • easy demodulation of signals
  • assigning participants to keep overview of your data
  • customizable decodings to crack even sophisticated encodings like CC1101 data whitening
  • assign labels to reveal the logic of the protocol
  • automatic reverse engineering of protocol fields
  • fuzzing component to find security leaks
  • modulation support to inject the data back into the system
  • simulation environment to perform stateful attacks

To get started, download the official userguide (PDF), watch the demonstration videos (YouTube) or check out the wiki for more information and supported devices. Scroll down this page to learn how to install URH on your system.


Universal Radio Hacker can be installed via pip or using the package manager of your distribution (if included). Below you find more specific installation instructions for:


On Windows, URH can be installed with it’s MSI Installer. No further dependencies are required.

If you get an error about missing api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll, run Windows Update or directly install KB2999226.


Install via Package Manager

URH is included in the repositories of many linux distributions such as Arch LinuxGentooFedoraopenSUSE or NixOS. There is also a package for FreeBSD. If available, simply use your package manager to install URH.

Generic Installation with pip (Ubuntu/Debian)

URH you can also be installed with using python3 -m pip install urh. In case you are running Ubuntu or Debian read on for more specific instructions.

In order to use native device backends, make sure you install the -dev package for your desired SDRs, that is libairspy-devlibhackrf-devlibrtlsdr-dev libuhd-dev .

If your device does not have a -dev package, e.g. LimeSDR, you need to manually create a symlink to the .so, like this:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libLimeSuite.so.17.02.2 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libLimeSuite.so

before installing URH, using:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python3-numpy python3-psutil python3-zmq python3-pyqt5 g++ libpython3-dev python3-pip cython3
sudo pip3 install urh 

Docker Image

The official URH docker image is available here.


Using DMG

It is recommended to use at least macOS 10.14 when using the DMG available here.

With pip

  1. Install Python 3 for Mac OS XIf you experience issues with preinstalled Python, make sure you update to a recent version using the given link.
  2. (Optional) Install desired native libs e.g. brew install librtlsdr for corresponding native device support.
  3. In a terminal, type: pip3 install urh.
  4. Type urh in a terminal to get it started.

Update your installation

Updating with pip

If you installed URH via pip you can keep it up to date with pip3 install --upgrade urh, or, if this should not work python3 -m pip install --upgrade urh.

Updating with MSI

If you experience issues after updating URH using the .msi installer on Windows, please perform a full uninstallation. That is, uninstall URH via Windows and after that remove the installation folder (something like C:\Program Files\Universal Radio Hacker). Now, install the new version using the recent .msi .

Running from source

If you like to live on bleeding edge, you can run URH from source.

Without installation

To execute the Universal Radio Hacker without installation, just run:

git clone https://github.com/jopohl/urh/
cd urh/src/urh

Note, before first usage the C++ extensions will be built.

Installing from source

To install from source you need to have python-setuptools installed. You can get it e.g. with pip install setuptools. Once the setuptools are installed use:

git clone https://github.com/jopohl/urh/
cd urh
python setup.py install

And start the application by typing urh in a terminal.


Hacking stuff with URH

General presentations and tutorials on URH

External decodings

See wiki for a list of external decodings provided by our community! Thanks for that!


Get the data out of raw signals

Universal Radio Hacker - Investigate Wireless Protocols Like a Boss xploitlab

Keep an overview even on complex protocols

Universal Radio Hacker (URH) - Keep an overview even on complex protocols

Record and send signals

Universal Radio Hacker (URH) - Record and send signals of wireless protocol

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