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security of printers.

 
binsaeed
Occasional Visitor

security of printers.

I work in information security assurance center in Saudi Arabia. They asked me to do a research in security of printers. How to retrieve or read the data that was printed in enterprises printers?
4 REPLIES

Re: security of printers.

Are you asking about the images on the drum?
(Like the words on a typewriter ribbon.)
Or data on the internal disk or RAM?
binsaeed
Occasional Visitor

Re: security of printers.

data on the internal disk.
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: security of printers.

More of a printer question than an HP-UX
question, isn't it?

I know nothing, but I'd guess that the
details might depend on the printer.

> data on the internal disk.

Not all printers have an internal disk. Most
have some memory, however.
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: security of printers.

A printer is always a major security problem. Only large scale printers have internal disks, mostly to buffer hundreds of pages for multiple copies, to hold downloaded fonts and graphics. Smaller printers seldom have internal disks but trying to find out which ones have disks may be a challenge. And recovering the data from a printer's RAM will be extremely difficult -- remove power and the data is gone. And the data is a combination of font specs, text, and a dot map of the current page, none of which could be deciphered without very detailed knowledge of the printer's design.

But all of this is irrelevant since a printer is defined as a non-secure device. In a secure environment, printers are given security levels, defined by access to the printer as well as access to the data cables that feed the printer. Systems with secure data are completely isolated from non-secured areas (and printers). A secure printer is secured (supervised) 24 hours a day and all paper tracked (including waste). I wouldn't worry about reading data in the printer since no one should have physical access to a secure printer without proper clearance and authority.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin