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Top Story

Smartphone hacks 3-D printer by measuring ‘leaked’ energy, acoustic waves

The ubiquity of smartphones and their sophisticated gadgetry makes them an ideal tool to steal sensitive data from 3-D printers. That’s according to a new University at Buffalo study that explores security vulnerabilities of 3-D printing, also called additive manufacturing, which analysts say will become a multibillion-dollar industry employed to build everything from rocket engines to heart valves. Unlike most security hacks, the researchers did not simulate a cyberattack. Instead, the researchers programmed a common smartphone’s built-in sensors to measure electromagnetic energy and acoustic waves that emanate from 3-D printers. These sensors can infer the location of the print nozzle as it moves to create the three-dimensional object being printed. According to the researchers, the tests show that smartphones are quite capable of retrieving enough data to put sensitive information at risk.

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