Monday, November 21, 2016

3D Industrial Espionage

Your 3-D printer is leaking, but not in ways you can see.

It leaks sounds and energy. That's not a problem — unless you want to keep your creation a secret. In that case, it's time to get serious about security. Computer scientists have now shown that hackers can eavesdrop on 3-D printers — and then copy what they made. All it takes is your average smartphone.

As 3-D printing becomes more widespread, thieves will find new ways to steal original designs, worries Wenyao Xu. This computer scientist at the State University of New York in Buffalo led the new work...

To hack these printers, a spy needs to merely “listen” to the noise and energy the machine emits, including the magnetic fields that vary as it works. Both sound and electromagnetic energy travel as waves. By tapping into these waves, Xu says, a spy could identify the shape of what was being printed. This would allow someone to steal a design without ever seeing the original.

“We need to prevent these attacks,” Xu says. more