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Emission Security of Laser Printers

Emission Security of Laser Printers

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Emissionsecurityoflaserprinters
KRYSTIANGRZESIAK,ARTURPRZYBYSZ
MilitaryCommunicationInstitute,05-130Zegrze,PolandAbstract:Itiscommonlyknownthatallelectronicdevicescontainsourcesofelectromagneticemissionsthatmayspreadthroughtheairorthroughconductors.Becausetheseemissionscandeterioratetheperformanceofapartofthedeviceitselforofanothersystem,suchphenomenaareasubjectofinvestigationsinthefieldofelectromagneticcompatibility(EMC).Butthereisanotherthreatthatconcernspeoplewhoprocessclassifiedinformation-thepossibilitythatsuchelectricorelectromagneticradiationcouldbeinterceptedanddecipheredandfinallyrevealdatabeingpro-cessedbytheequipment.
1.Introduction
Everyday,technicaljournalsandpopularpressinformusaboutcomputersystemrisksandattacks.Worms,viruses,Trojansexploitanumberofsecurityholesinoperationsystemsandsoftwareapplications.Mostpeople,especiallyinbusinessandgovernment,realizethatthecomputercrimeisamajorthreattotheirclassified(ornotclassifiedbutsensitive)information.Theytakecomputersecurityveryseriously,buyfire-walls,antivirussoftware,usepasswordsandencryptionapplications.Butdespitetheirintenseefforts,theyoftenforgetaboutanotherthreat,thesocalled"electromagneticleakageofinformation':Everywirethatcarriesalternatingcurrentcanactasatransmittingantenna,transformingapartofthecurrentpowerintoelectromagneticemission.Suchemissionsmaybeinterceptedanddecipheredbyeavesdroppers.AlthoughpeoplealreadyknowthatsuchemissionsradiatedbyoldCRTmonitorscanbeeasilydecipheredinrealtimeusingrelativelycheapequipment,theythinkthatmoderncomputersarefreeofthatweakness.Butunfortunately,therearesomereportsabouttheexploita-tioncompromisingemanationsradiatedbyDVImonitorsandkeyboards,too.Anothersourceof"leakage"canbealaserprinter.
2.Maxwellequations
Theoreticalfoundationsforthe"electromagneticleakageofinformation"areofcourseMaxwellequations.Themostinterestingresultsarisefromtwoofthem:
 
354ConceptsandImplementationsforInnovativeMilitaryCommunications...
aB
VxE=--
at
aD
VXH=-+J
at
where:
E-
electricfieldstrength,D-electricdisplacement
(D
=
ErEOE),
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magneticfluxdensity
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H-magneticfieldstrength,
J-
currentdensity.Thesetwolawsjoinelectricfieldandmagneticfieldinitsentirety.Whenonefieldarisesinaspecificpointitisaccompaniedbytheotherfield.Forex-ample,ifamagneticfieldarises,itmeansthatamagneticfieldischanging.Butchangesofamagneticfieldtriggertheemergenceofanelectricfield.Ifmag-neticfieldchangesarenotmonotonous,thenanelectricfieldisalsochangingandgeneratesthemagneticfield.Thesefieldssustaineachotherandarecalledanelectromagneticwave.
3.Fortuitousantennas
Atransmittingantennaisadevicedesignedtoconvertthepowerofelectriccurrentintoanelectromagneticradiation.Intentionalantennasareoptimizedforcharacteristicsoftransmittedsignals(e.g.frequency).Buteverywireorloopthatcarriesanalternatingcurrentcanactasanunintentionalantenna.Naturalantennasformedbyconductingelementsofelectronicequipmentsarenotoptimum,butwehavetorememberthatwiresofthelengthexceeding
A/
30becomeeffectiveantennas.Insideeveryelectronicdevicetherearehundredsofnaturalantennasformedbysignalwires,cablesorelementsofprintedcircuitboards.Themostevidentexamplesofnaturalantennasaresignalcables.Suchcablesconnectedtocircuitboardscanbedrivenbythecommonmodecurrent.Notonlyseparatecablescarryingdatasignals,butalsoparallelcablesthatformanunbalancedcircuitradiateaportionofthecurrentpower.Similareffectcanbeobservedwhensomeportionsofdatasignal"leak"intothepowersupplycircuit.Suchantennasaremuchlongerthantheseformedbysignallines.Tracesofprintedcircuitboards(PCB)arealsoevidentnaturalantennas.Whenthefrequencyofanintentionaldatasignalincreases,itswavelengthbe-comesshorterandclosertogeometricdimensionsofconductorsformingPCBtraces.Whentheirlengthbecomesafractionofthesignalwavelength,itisquitepossiblethattheywillformnaturalresonantantennas.Suchantennasmaybedipoleorloopantennas.
 
Chapter
5:
InformationAssuranceandSecurity
355
Directivityofnaturalantennasmaybesignificantlyincreasedwhenwiringcarryingdatasignalgoesclosetoconductivebodiesthatcanactasareflector.
4.Functionaloverviewofthelaserprinters
Becauselaserprintersrapidlyproducehighqualitytextandgraphics,theyarethemostpopulardevicesusedtoprintdocuments.Generallyspeaking,theprinci-pleoftheiroperationisbasedontherasterimageprocessingalgorithmandtakesadvantageoftwophysicalphenomena:staticelectricityandphotoconductivity.ThedataprocessedinsuchdevicesasPCcomputersistransferredtothelaserprinterbyaparticularcommunicationinterface.TheretheRasterImageProcessor(RIP)convertsdatatoanimageofpagetobeprinted.Suchimagehasabitmapform.Laserdiodetransfersthebitmapontothesurfaceofaphotosensitivedrumchargedbeforewithauniformnegativepotential.Laserbeamscansthephotosensitivedrumtoneutralizenegativechargesonpartsofthedrum.Anelectrostaticlatentimageisformedonthedrumwherenegativechargeswereneutralized.Afterthat,nega-tivelychargedtonerisdepositedontotheelectrostaticlatentimage.Apositivelychargedprintmediumcomesintocontactwiththesurfaceofaphotosensitivedrumandthetoneristransferredtotheprintmedium.Finallythetonerisfusedintopaperbyheatandpressuretoproduceapermanentimage.Thelaserprinterunitconsistsofthefollowingparts(Fig.
1):
DCControllerandpowersystem;Formattersystem;ImageFormationsystem;PaperFeedsystem;Laser-Scannersystem.
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Figure1.Generalizedfunctionalblockdiagramofthelaserprinter

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