Andrew Huang

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Andrew Huang
Andrew Huang
Born 1975 (age 40–41)
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Residence Singapore, Malaysia
Nationality American
Other names bunnie
Occupation Hacker, author
Known for Chumby, Hacking the Xbox, Novena

Andrew "bunnie" Huang (born 1975) is an American hacker, who holds a Ph.D in electrical engineering from MIT and is the author of the freely available 2003 book Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering.[1] Huang is also a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. As of 2012 he resides in Singapore.[2]


Huang was the hardware lead at Chumby; his responsibilities included the design and production of chumby devices, as well as the strategic planning and ecosystem development of the broader chumby hardware platform. He has completed several major projects, ranging from hacking the Xbox, to designing the world's first fully integrated photonic-silicon chips running at 10 Gbit/s with Luxtera, Inc., to building some of the first prototype hardware for silicon nanowire device research with Caltech. Bunnie has also participated in the design of wireless transceivers for use in 802.11b and Bluetooth networks with Mobilian, graphics chips at Silicon Graphics, digital cinema codecs at Qualcomm, and autonomous robotic submarines during the 1999 competition held by the AUVSI that the MIT team won. He is also responsible for the un-design of many security systems, with an appetite for the challenge of digesting silicon-based hardware security. Huang is a contributing writer for MAKE magazine, as well as being a member of their technical advisory board. He has also written extensively about manufacturing in China.[3]

Huang worked with a team within the Electronic Frontier Foundation to develop code that interprets printer steganography markings in 2005.[4]

microSD cards: genuine & questionable

Huang has also used reverse-engineering techniques to reveal why certain MicroSD cards are poor in quality.[5][6] In 2013, he presented results in collaboration with Sean 'xobs' Cross revealing methods to load arbitrary code into microSD cards via backdoors built into the embedded controller.[7][8]

Huang was scheduled to appear as an expert witness in the trial United States v. Crippen to determine whether or not modding an Xbox violates sections of the DMCA.[9] The case was dropped suddenly on the third day of trial before the jury sat by the US federal authorities who had initiated the action.[10] The case was dismissed before Huang was called to give testimony.

He also created the NeTV, which was the first known public use of the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) 'master key'. The device uses the master key to implement a video overlay on existing HDCP-protected links, in a fashion which purportedly does not violate the DMCA.[11] Both the hardware and firmware for the NeTV are openly available under the CC-BY-SA license.[12]

He also created the open hardware Safecast Geiger Counter Reference Design, as a volunteer effort in response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami, and ensuing meltdown of Fukushima Daiichi.[13][14]

The open source hardware laptop motherboard, Novena.

In 2013, bunnie announced that he, in collaboration with Sean 'xobs' Cross, was at work on a laptop called Novena. The laptop is expected to be the first of its kind. The hardware and software for the Novena are entirely open and only include components where the manufacturing companies do not require non-disclosure agreements to obtain the documentation necessary for design.[15] In addition to the normal laptop components, the Novena motherboard also includes an FPGA, dual Ethernet ports, a three-axis accelerometer, and easily extended hardware.[16] On May 7, 2014 the Novena's crowdfunding campaign reached its goal of $250,000 and went on to raise a total of $722,880 without taking subsequent pre-orders into account.

A project in collaboration with Jie Qi of the MIT Media Lab is Circuit Stickers (under the trade name chibitronics[17]), peel-and-stick electronics for crafting electronics.[18]

Huang was interviewed on The Amp Hour show in episode #84 - An Interview with Bunnie Huang - Bunnie's Bibelot Bonification, where he talked about his electronics work in China and reverse engineering.[19]


In 2007, Huang received the Lewis Winner award for Best paper at ISSCC 2006 (A 10Gbit/s photonic modulator and WDM MUX/DEMUX integrated with electronics in 0.13 um SOI CMOS, Solid-State Circuits Conference, 2006. ISSCC 2006. Digest of Technical Papers. IEEE International)[20]

In September 2012, Huang received the 2012 EFF Pioneer Award for his work in hardware hacking, open source and activism.[21]



  1. ^ bunnie (2013-03). "An open letter from bunnie, author of Hacking the Xbox". No Starch Press.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Ian Lesnet (2012-08-23). "Workshop Video #36: Beers in Bunnie’s Workshop". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  3. ^ Doctorow, Cory (July 13, 2007). "Bunnie Huang's blog-series on Chinese manufacturing". Boing Boing. Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ "EFF: DocuColor Tracking Dot Decoding Guide". Retrieved 2015-12-07. 
  5. ^ Doctorow, Cory (Feb 16, 2010). "Sleuthing uncovers the mystery of Kingston MicroSD cards' crappy QA". Boing Boing. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ "On MicroSD Problems". bunnie's blog. 
  7. ^ bunnie and xobs (2013-12-29). "The Exploration and Exploitation of an SD Memory Card". 30c3. 
  8. ^ "On Hacking MicroSD Cards". bunnie's blog. 
  9. ^ Kravets, David (October 21, 2010). "Threat Level Privacy, Crime and Security Online Previous post Next post Prosecutors Seek to Block Xbox Hacking Pioneer From Trial". Wired. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  10. ^ Kravets, David (December 2, 2010). "Prosecutors Dismiss Xbox-Modding Case Mid-Trial". Wired. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ Goodin, Dan (September 16, 2011). "How gizmo maker's hack outflanked copyright trolls". The Register. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ Source code links at
  13. ^ Cory Doctorow (2012-03-15). "Bunnie Huang's open Geiger counter: design notes and reference". Boing Boing. 
  14. ^ Dan Sythe (2012-09-27). "Inside the Heart and Soul of a new Geiger counter". Geiger Counter Bulletin. 
  15. ^ Bunnie Huang (2014-01-08). "Building an Open Source Laptop". Makezine. 
  16. ^ bunnie (2014-03-14). "Novena Main Page". 
  17. ^ Chibitronics (2014-6). "Crafting with electricity". Chibitronics main website.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Chibitronics (2013-12). "Circuit Stickers". Crowd Supply.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ "The Amp Hour #84 - An Interview with Bunnie Huang - Bunnie's Bibelot Bonification". The Amp Hour. The Amp Hour. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "ISSCC 2007 / Session 1 / Plenary Awards". IEEE. 2007-02-12. 
  21. ^ "Hardware Hacker, Anti-ACTA Activist, and Groundbreaking Anonymity Group Win EFF Pioneer Awards" (Press release). EFF. 2012-09-27. 

External links[edit]

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