Author Topic: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!  (Read 40948 times)

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Offline Brutte

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #125 on: December 03, 2015, 05:29:17 am »
Surprised with yellow dots? That is because you have not read the EULA.
It clearly states (paragraph 452, point 17) that either you agree on surveillance or forget printing.

When you pick first option then where does the whining come from?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #126 on: December 03, 2015, 07:18:35 am »
I was, in a past life, a copier tech.  Some machines will copy money no troubles! (As a test, printout destroyed afterwards)  The yellow dots aren't even a secret!  Who cares! 

Would you say the same thing if you bought a digital camera and it encoded tiny yellow tracking dots onto every image?, and that was mandated by the government?
they do.  in the exif data. photocopiers do it too.

EXIF can be trimmed off, yellow dots can not.

there is also subchannel encoding in the jpeg stream....

http://www.tsi.lv/sites/default/files/editor/science/Research_journals/Computer/2004/V1/article4.pdf

http://www.adptools.com/en/signmyimage-durability.html

Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline calzap

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #127 on: December 03, 2015, 08:08:24 am »
Is the following feasible?  Develop an add-on to the printer drivers of color laser printers that can add yellow dots to change the encoded info that is printed.   The driver add-on would use a digital image of a scan of a print-out from the same printer in order to determine placement of the additional dots.  This method would be strictly additive; it could not remove dots.

There are several ways the above could be defeated which may already be in use.  One would be the use of a check-sum or similar method that is encoded into yellow dots and printed elsewhere on the page.  Or the positioning of the groups of dots that carry the serial number info could be moved around on succeeding pages by the chip that does the dot encoding.

Mike in California
 

Online blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #128 on: December 03, 2015, 08:12:53 am »
I was, in a past life, a copier tech.  Some machines will copy money no troubles! (As a test, printout destroyed afterwards)  The yellow dots aren't even a secret!  Who cares! 

Would you say the same thing if you bought a digital camera and it encoded tiny yellow tracking dots onto every image?, and that was mandated by the government?
they do.  in the exif data. photocopiers do it too.

EXIF can be trimmed off, yellow dots can not.

there is also subchannel encoding in the jpeg stream....

http://www.tsi.lv/sites/default/files/editor/science/Research_journals/Computer/2004/V1/article4.pdf

http://www.adptools.com/en/signmyimage-durability.html

There is the technology, but AFAIK, so far no governments mandate the use of this technology, nor any DSLR/DC can do this on its own.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #129 on: December 03, 2015, 09:36:33 am »
EXIF can be trimmed off, yellow dots can not.
can
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #130 on: December 03, 2015, 08:00:14 pm »
just watched it maybe too late but...
thank you very much sir! you just teach terrorists on how to erase their traces...
BS.
"Terrorist organizations" don't care if you track the serial numbers of their printers.

Terrorist organizations are a governmental tool created indirectly or directly by some governments.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-labor-leader-corbyn-isis-created-by-uk-and-us/5477982

Al Quaeda was created, funded, trained and armed by the US government to fight russia.

We don't care and we are not responsible if the governments let their shady armies go out of control.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 08:23:20 pm by f4eru »
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #131 on: December 03, 2015, 08:30:59 pm »
Terrorist organizations are a governmental tool created indirectly or directly by some governments.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-labor-leader-corbyn-isis-created-by-uk-and-us/5477982
with only less than 100 posts and a peculiar name... you are brighter than i thought! ;)
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #132 on: December 03, 2015, 10:12:28 pm »
I was, in a past life, a copier tech.  Some machines will copy money no troubles! (As a test, printout destroyed afterwards)  The yellow dots aren't even a secret!  Who cares! 
Would you say the same thing if you bought a digital camera and it encoded tiny yellow tracking dots onto every image?, and that was mandated by the government?
they do.  in the exif data. photocopiers do it too.

a) EXIF data does not impact the image, it is not lossy steganography.
b) EXIF data can be removed and viewed with any photo imager software. Heck, even Windows Explorer.
c) EXIF data is not and was not government mandated
d) EXIF data is part of the JPG file format specification, which many professional camera users avoid because they use RAW mode which does not have EXIF data in the image.
e) EXIF data does not have the serial number (although that's possible I believe, but I've never seen it, as it adds no value to the user). EXIF is not designed to track users. Some modern ones have GPS, but most products let you disable that.
f) EXIF is designed to provide very useful info to the user, unlike yellow dots that have zero value for the user and actually degrade the image.

So nope. Try again.
And my question was if the camera added yellow tacking dots or something else to the actual image.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 10:54:15 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Offline McBryce

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #134 on: December 03, 2015, 11:33:39 pm »
What ever happened to the time honoured art of writing ransom notes using random newspaper clippings. Printing them is just lazy if you ask me.

McBryce.
 

Offline GNU_Ninja

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #135 on: December 03, 2015, 11:40:51 pm »
What ever happened to the time honoured art of writing ransom notes using random newspaper clippings. Printing them is just lazy if you ask me.

McBryce.

Cut up newspapers, how quaint  :)

http://www.ransomizer.com/  This is the age of the information superhighway you know  ;D
 

Offline Chris Jones

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #136 on: December 03, 2015, 11:55:12 pm »
Paid by cash? Search nearby ATM record data for that and previous days for cash withdrawls.
If I were an authoritarian government, I would make sure that banknote serial numbers are scanned when dispensed from the ATM, and linked to the account number (and photo if desired). It is a feature available on some existing ATMs which accept deposits and re-dispense the notes to other customers. Supposedly the feature was added to investigate cases of customers receiving counterfeit notes, but as a byproduct it records which person has which cash notes.

I guess you could buy the printer with coins!

 

Offline McBryce

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #137 on: December 04, 2015, 12:11:02 am »
What ever happened to the time honoured art of writing ransom notes using random newspaper clippings. Printing them is just lazy if you ask me.

McBryce.

Cut up newspapers, how quaint  :)

http://www.ransomizer.com/  This is the age of the information superhighway you know  ;D

Ehhh... Don't I have to print that randomized note on my own printer (with yellow dots) when it's done?

McBryce.
 

Offline GNU_Ninja

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #138 on: December 04, 2015, 12:38:02 am »
What ever happened to the time honoured art of writing ransom notes using random newspaper clippings. Printing them is just lazy if you ask me.

McBryce.

Cut up newspapers, how quaint  :)

http://www.ransomizer.com/  This is the age of the information superhighway you know  ;D

Ehhh... Don't I have to print that randomized note on my own printer (with yellow dots) when it's done?

McBryce.

No problem, just use someone else's printer, I usually use the printer in the HR department and my line managers workstation for nefarious activity  ;D
 

Offline adprom

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #139 on: December 04, 2015, 01:08:59 am »
So I did something for fun - I printed a test page out of my fuji and then scanned it back in at high res. With the high res image, I then used paint and simply used the fill with colour icon.... What did it reveal, none other than the pattern all over the page!  Kinda cool!
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #140 on: December 04, 2015, 02:39:34 am »
exif tag id is 16 bits value, only a few that have been populated. there are plenty of room for user/manufacturer/governmental specific data that can be held classified from the mere mortal's knowledge.

a) EXIF data does not impact the image, it is not lossy steganography.
so does not the pattern in the print out

b) EXIF data can be removed and viewed with any photo imager software. Heck, even Windows Explorer.
so can the pattern, its now possible through knowledge. thanks to this thread and the accompanying video. ;)

c) EXIF data is not and was not government mandated
probably one out of the 2^16 Exif's Tag ID can be... through governmental and manufaturers / Exif committes closed table meeting.

d) EXIF data is part of the JPG file format specification, which many professional camera users avoid because they use RAW mode which does not have EXIF data in the image.
JPG was born 1991, Exif was born 1998, obviously the original JPG was not supporting Exif. RAW is manufacturer's specific format, what metadata contained inside is anyone's guesses.. and err.. most professional users (with senses) that are not obliged to shoot RAW will shoot in JPG..

e) EXIF data does not have the serial number (although that's possible I believe, but I've never seen it, as it adds no value to the user). EXIF is not designed to track users. Some modern ones have GPS, but most products let you disable that.
in current Exif specification.... 0xa431 is tag for serial number, 0xa214 is subject location, 0x8825 is GPS info...
http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/TagNames/EXIF.html
...your own serial number may not be usefull to you until you lost the device, hoping one day a picture popped out in the net with exif  "0xa431:your serial number" in it...

And my question was if the camera added yellow tacking dots or something else to the actual image.
very unlikely the "real finished product" will be smeared with this spy info, just as its very unlikely (through common sense) that the yellow pattern will be printed on the printed out image or dark area...

just think of the printed area on the paper (area that are smeared with inks from image/document input) as the JPG compressed data storing imagery, and white area on the paper (with the yellow pattern) as the Exif metadata area in the JPG file.

edit: an interesting experiment should be fun. print a full black (or full color) page, borderless if supported and see where the pattern will be...
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 12:58:34 pm by Mechatrommer »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline xarragon

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #141 on: December 04, 2015, 09:36:09 am »
Camera EXIF data is easy to remove, despite how many people forget it. A more subtle threat is the CMOS sensor noise itself. This topic has been researched for years and is making inroads into practical use for law enforcement. It works for fingerprinting, for confirming that some output was made by a certain device.

However, my guess is that it would be trivial to actually encode the same data found in the yellow dots into the background noise. Encrypting the data would make it appear as random noise, further hindering detection. Another approach would simply be to require every image sensor produced to have a sensor noise profile stored, or register a noise profile from firmware for every complete camera sold. Since most firmware probably already samples this information for image processing purposes it would be fairly trivial.


Mobile devices already has a traceable unique device ID hardcoded into the radio transceiver system, the IMSI number. This number is used to blacklist stolen phones etc. In the US, all smartphones sold in 2015 now have remote wipe capabilities: http://www.ctia.org/policy-initiatives/voluntary-guidelines/smartphone-anti-theft-voluntary-commitment

Last but not least, even the way you write can be fingerprinted as well. So even if your printer is not ratting you out, the way you punctuate, choose words etc. will, given a large enough sample set. This was highlighted in the story about Edward Snowden's leaks.
 

Offline wagon

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #142 on: December 06, 2015, 10:03:01 am »
So, the long and the short of it, we're screwed either-way if our governments do the wrong thing.
Hiding from the missus, she doesn't understand.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #143 on: December 06, 2015, 01:02:56 pm »
A relevant thread from ExifTool forum on using Exif data by law enforcement

http://u88.n24.queensu.ca/exiftool/forum/index.php/topic,4693.msg22406.html#msg22406
 

Offline GNU_Ninja

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #144 on: December 09, 2015, 03:37:05 am »
So, the long and the short of it, we're screwed either-way if our governments do the wrong thing.

If?  :)
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #145 on: December 09, 2015, 03:48:48 am »
So, the long and the short of it, we're screwed either-way if our governments do the wrong thing.

If?  :)

Living in the US that would be a very small if.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline snoop911

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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #825 - Your Printer Is Spying On You!
« Reply #147 on: December 15, 2015, 11:45:02 am »
Off-topic I know, but...


Antiradiation?  The symbol is for radioactive situations.  If this piece of headwear is good for gamma rays, I'm sure NASA would be a big customer - as well as the global nuclear industry.  On the other hand - are they interpreting electromagnetic radiation that causes my AM receiver to respond as radio-active?

Antiodor?  I've never really noticed headwear as having odour problems, but I may have been lucky - so, yeah, ok.

Antibacterial?  Well, I suppose it's a natural companion to antiodor.  I think it would have a wider market if it was anti nits.

Easy Maintenance  Chuck it into the washing machine ... Good to know.



On topic -

I notice the site listing printers does not seem to feature Samsung models.

I can confirm that my Samsung C1860FW MFP has no apparent coding, even under 4x magnification.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 11:47:21 am by Brumby »
 


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