WiFi Shredder

Medium: NodeJs, Linux Bash script, Arduino, DotMatrix Printer, Continuous Computer Paper, WiFi Router, Paper Shredder, Macbook

Installation at Microwave Festival

This installation confronts the visitor by exposing their personal data that they readily and unknowingly share. The WiFi Shredder pulls the signal, noise, and information that surrounds every owner of a smartphone from the invisible spectrum of electromagnetic waves and plots it on a continuous loop of paper. The visualisations on the endless print-out, punctuated by the drones of the dot matrix printer, feeds directly into a paper shredder that lays its waste at your feet. A small glimpse into the amount of personal information that is sacrificed for the sake of convenience within daily digital life, it begs the question whether privacy is dead or do we continue to pretend that it doesn’t pollute our freedoms

WiFiShredder is showing the ease on how private data can be harvested and exposed in the open. The audience without their knowledge and more specifically their meta-data was becoming part of the artwork. Wireshark, which is a widely used pentesting tool, is listening for broadcasts from nearby WiFi devices. The data is analysed and send to a dot-matrix printer that is continuously printing out the names of access points associated with the audience’s mobile phones or other WiFi-enabled devices. The extracted data included usernames, names of hotels, restaurants, businesses, and universities. Eventually, the exposed private information was shredded, hence destroying the sensitive data. The Shredder was controlled by a microcontroller, turning on and off, depending on the amount of incoming paper.