Maker creates uncrackable DIY mixtape

Maker David Huerta, co-organizer of Art Hack Day and Cryptoparty, recently devised a DIY encrypted mixtape using an Atmel based Arduino and a transparent acrylic case. The device was created as a “soundtrack for the modern surveillance state and is designed to be enjoyed only by people I have consented it to be listened to.”

Originally, Huerta wanted to make a traditional mixtape and share it with friends and co-workers. But according to Motherboard, he didn’t get very far without a cassette recorder. “That’s when his DIY hacker artist instincts kicked in, and he started building the encrypted mixtape at NYC Resistor.”

This device was created using open hardware, machinery that can be trusted not to spy on you because of the disclosure of its design, schematics and bill of materials to anyone who wishes to inspect, build, or build upon the device.


“I made my own version of a mixtape with an Arduino and wave shield sandwiched in between two laser-etched pieces of transparent acrylic.” The use of transparent acrylic was to symbolically give transparency to the device you were using, Huerta revealed in his blog post.

“This open hardware device would not be a black box, figuratively or literally.”


“I used encryption (AES/Whirlpool for the hash algorithm) to make my mix tape unplayable without the passphrase needed to unlock the private key that would decrypt the SD card where the music is stored. The list of music used was kept offline and only available in a printed paper form for the aforementioned staff art show. I created special transparent red acrylic pieces to indicate this one was the encrypted version and mailed the device with the encrypted SD card to the NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, which apparently has a special mailing address for unsolicited packages like this.”


1 thought on “Maker creates uncrackable DIY mixtape

  1. Pingback: Interview: The NSA can’t crack this Arduino mixtape | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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