Discussion:
Researchers release DEDA to anonymize laser printer tracking dots
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Computer Nerd Kev
2018-08-11 05:23:24 UTC
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It's a shame that there are no open-source laser printer firmware
projects (that I can find).


Researchers release DEDA to anonymize laser printer tracking dots
by Martin Brinkmann on July 03, 2018
- https://www.ghacks.net/2018/07/03/researchers-release-deda-to-anonymize-laser-printer-tracking-dots/

"DEDA is a new tool for Linux that researchers have created to read
and decode the forensic information, and to anonymize information to
protect against tracking.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation discovered in 2008 that nearly
all major color laser printer manufacturers added tracking dots to
any printed document. The yellow tracking dots were invisible to the
eye and apparently added to printouts on request of the U.S.
government.

The foundation stopped updating the list in 2017 stating that there
is strong evidence that all laser printers use some form of tracking.
The organization went on to suggest that there was a strong
likelihood that printers who did not use yellow dots used a different
system that was not yet identified.

A team of researchers from TU Dresden in Germany published a research
paper that provides deeper knowledge of laser printer printout
tracking methods. The researchers discovered a new tracking pattern,
managed to decode information, and developed an algorithm to detect
and extract data." ...
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Huge
2018-08-11 09:53:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
It's a shame that there are no open-source laser printer firmware
projects (that I can find).
Back to using chopped up newspapers for ransom demands, I guess.
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
Researchers release DEDA to anonymize laser printer tracking dots
by Martin Brinkmann on July 03, 2018
- https://www.ghacks.net/2018/07/03/researchers-release-deda-to-anonymize-laser-printer-tracking-dots/
"DEDA is a new tool for Linux that researchers have created to read
and decode the forensic information, and to anonymize information to
protect against tracking.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation discovered in 2008 that nearly
all major color laser printer manufacturers added tracking dots to
any printed document. The yellow tracking dots were invisible to the
eye and apparently added to printouts on request of the U.S.
government.
The foundation stopped updating the list in 2017 stating that there
is strong evidence that all laser printers use some form of tracking.
The organization went on to suggest that there was a strong
likelihood that printers who did not use yellow dots used a different
system that was not yet identified.
A team of researchers from TU Dresden in Germany published a research
paper that provides deeper knowledge of laser printer printout
tracking methods. The researchers discovered a new tracking pattern,
managed to decode information, and developed an algorithm to detect
and extract data." ...
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Today is Pungenday, the 4th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3184
~ Stercus accidit ~
RS Wood
2018-08-11 16:37:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
It's a shame that there are no open-source laser printer firmware
projects (that I can find).
The foundation stopped updating the list in 2017 stating that there
is strong evidence that all laser printers use some form of tracking.
The organization went on to suggest that there was a strong
likelihood that printers who did not use yellow dots used a different
system that was not yet identified.
Agreed. On the grounds that everything a laser printer does to a sheet
of paper must be identifiable chemically, thermally, or visibly, it's
surprising we don't have better insight into it. What else can you do
to paper? Maybe people don't print that much anymore. I know I print
as little as possible, even at work, totaling a few hundred pages per
year at best.
Computer Nerd Kev
2018-08-12 01:42:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by RS Wood
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
It's a shame that there are no open-source laser printer firmware
projects (that I can find).
The foundation stopped updating the list in 2017 stating that there
is strong evidence that all laser printers use some form of tracking.
The organization went on to suggest that there was a strong
likelihood that printers who did not use yellow dots used a different
system that was not yet identified.
Agreed. On the grounds that everything a laser printer does to a sheet
of paper must be identifiable chemically, thermally, or visibly, it's
surprising we don't have better insight into it. What else can you do
to paper?
I imagine the problem is that there's already so much going on in terms
of dithering that it's difficult to find an unknown pattern amongst so
much noise. A more direct approach would be to disassemble the firmware
and check where variables such as the model number pop up uninvited.
Post by RS Wood
Maybe people don't print that much anymore. I know I print
as little as possible, even at work, totaling a few hundred pages per
year at best.
Oh dear, another way to make me feel out of touch. I print all the
time. Not to mention all the notes jotted down with pencil and paper
(and they can often swell to pages). Oh well, I refuse to worry about
pencils or printers being "phased out" any time soon. :)
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