231 Erwin Road

My experiences as a Northern transplant down in Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. And now my experiences back up in NYC.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My printer has the measles

I'm at the EFF office where earlier in the week a few researchers at the EFF have broken the code of tiny dots printed by color laser printers on every document. These dots provide folks like the secret service the serial number of the printer along with the date and time the document was printed. The secret service may argue that this was to find counterfeiters printing money, but this has crazy ramifications. These dots exists on almost ALL color laser printers on the market, even some around the price range less than $400.

The EFF has decoded the pattern used by Cannon and Xerox and has showed that they are easily readable with a blue flash light and a magnifying glass. The dots are actually yellow and the blue provides high contrast. You can also view them with plain ol' white light under a microscope.

Ramifications? I don't know, maybe you are printing some anonymous pamphlets speaking out against some gov't, and now you're not so anonymous anymore. Or maybe your significant other is trying to keep tabs on you, and these secret codes that were supposed to be unbreakable (except by the gov't) can now be tracked by anybody.

Read more here on the Press Release or Technical Details.

Categories: tin foil hat
Tags: eff privacy


Post a Comment

<< Home