Acoustic Side-Channel Attacks on Printers

11 years 3 months ago
Acoustic Side-Channel Attacks on Printers
We examine the problem of acoustic emanations of printers. We present a novel attack that recovers what a dotmatrix printer processing English text is printing based on a record of the sound it makes, if the microphone is close enough to the printer. In our experiments, the attack recovers up to 72 % of printed words, and up to 95 % if we assume contextual knowledge about the text, with a microphone at a distance of 10cm from the printer. After an upfront training phase, the attack is fully automated and uses a combination of machine learning, audio processing, and speech recognition techniques, including spectrum features, Hidden Markov Models and linear classification; moreover, it allows for feedbackbased incremental learning. We evaluate the effectiveness of countermeasures, and we describe how we successfully mounted the attack in-field (with appropriate privacy protections) in a doctor's practice to recover the content of medical prescriptions.
Michael Backes, Markus Dürmuth, Sebastian Ger
Added 15 Feb 2011
Updated 15 Feb 2011
Type Journal
Year 2010
Where USS
Authors Michael Backes, Markus Dürmuth, Sebastian Gerling, Manfred Pinkal, Caroline Sporleder
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