In the climax to the hacker classic Sneakers, the good guys have to break in and steal a box which can decode anything. In real life, of course, such devices don't exist. But what if they did? Is there any type of encryption that will withstand a brute force attack by any amount of computing power?

As it turns out, there is! Although, as we'll see later, unfortunately this doesn't readily translate into practical security. Still, thinking about security is a great habit to get into, and we can learn all kinds of great lessons by studying historical methods of encryption such as this one.

So, without further ado, let's get started! To follow this tutorial you'll need an Adafruit Internet of Things Thermal Printer. If you haven't done so already, head on over to and put one together! Then come back and learn a bit about the history of the one time pad, and how to print your own on your IoT printer!

This guide was first published on Aug 15, 2013. It was last updated on Apr 23, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Apr 23, 2024.

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