NSA whistleblower Reality Winner may have been caught thanks to a hidden pattern of dots that color printers bury in every page they print, as an assistance to law enforcement agencies.
The existence of these dots was long-rumored, but it wasn't until 2005, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation broke the code on a Xerox printer's output, that the scope, method and capabilities of this technique came to light.
The Washington Post tells the exciting story of that technological forensic work, which still ripples through today.
Then, in October 2005, about a year after PC World’s story, a research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation cracked the code for one printer, the Xerox DocuColor. A technologist from the advocacy group, along with an intern and two volunteers, compared the dots on a series of test printouts submitted by supporters. They quickly deduced how to read the pattern.
As expected, the dots indicated the datge and time a page was printed, as well as the printer’s serial number. The foundation then installed a decoder program on its website that the public could use, and started publishing running lists of printers that did or did not display the dots.
How tech sleuths cracked the mysterious code that turns your printer into a spying tool
[Derek Hawkins/Washington Post]
A once-underground movement of Finnish girls who conduct elaborate dressage routines with toy hobbyhorses has gone mainstream, with coaches, competitions and trainers, and is spreading abroad.
I'm coming to Halifax to give the closing keynote on day one of Atlseccon on April 24th: it's only my second-ever visit to the city and the first time I've given a talk there, so I really hope you can make it!
Chuck Tingle (previously) has leapt into action with some of the most trenchant analysis of the Mueller Report yet seen: Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration covers all the most significant details through an exquisitely crafted tale of gay pornography.
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]
Ever wonder if you’re cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there’s a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective […]