May 13, 2016 | By Tess

Along with technological developments and progress come inevitable concerns, often raised about security, health, and intellectual property. We saw it (and continue to see it) in the development of the internet, just as we saw it with the popularization of mobile phones. Recently, and to address the risks of newer emerging technologies, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University issued a report identifying and detailing 10 at-risk technologies. Among them are, enterprise 3D printing, augmented reality, the connected home, networked telematics, smart medical devices, autonomous machines, smart sensors, commercial unmanned aerial vehicles, vehicle autonomy, and vehicular communication systems.

The study, called 2016 Emerging Technology Domains Risk Survey, was geared towards investigating the security of emerging technologies with maturing potential over the next five years. In the study, the team of research analysts, which included Dan Klinedinst, Todd Lewellen, Garret Wassermann, and Christopher King, focused on a number of security concern areas, not only limited to cybersecurity. Other areas that were considered in addition to cybersecurity were: safety, or the impact on human health and life; privacy; finance; and operation.

As vulnerability analyst at CERT, Christopher King explains, “In today's increasingly interconnected world, the information security community must be prepared to address vulnerabilities that may arise from new technologies. Understanding trends in emerging technologies can help information security professionals, leaders of organizations, and others interested in information security identify areas for further study.”

As 3D printing technologies currently stand, the report did not highlight many serious risks, noting that it would continue its research of additive manufacturing technologies into 2016. The report reads, “There is currently little evidence to suggest information security problems with 3D printing, but this situation may change as 3D printing enables consumers to print circuit boards and other electronic hardware.”

Notable risks that are related to 3D printing technologies are “not explicit” as they have more to do with the physical risk posed by the machinery. As the machines, which can be found in offices, factories and homes, are connected to Wi-Fi or Ethernet and are equipped with various servomechanisms which control heating and distribution nozzles, the risk of damage to the device or its surrounding environment in the event of a security compromise seems to be the biggest risk. Of course, and as the report states, this is not unlike the risk posed by many other industrial machinery.

Another security risk associated with the technology is one we’ve seen in practice before: that of additively manufacturing custom designed keys. Just last month, for instance, a group of hackers in Australia 3D printed a number of restricted keys, and in September the 3D model of a TSA master key was released to the public. Along with this risk, is the ability inherent in 3D printing technologies, to create virtually anything in a covert manner.

Of course, one of the biggest risks of 3D printing technologies is the theft of intellectual property. The report explains, “ As with a variety of automated manufacturing machines, the 3D printer must be configured with instructions that tell the printer what materials to deposit and where to place them. These instructions represent valuable intellectual property that can be stolen or even modified in place to produce ‘defective’ items. In this way, 3D printing exposes all supply chain vulnerabilities and impacts, from manufacturing problems to impacts to customers when defects are not easily detected.”

Concerns about intellectual property within the sphere of 3D printing are not new, as another recent study, by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, revealed that even the sounds of a 3D printer could reveal and put 3D model designs at risk.

Augmented reality (AR) also found its way to the top of CERT’s at-risk emerging technologies list. The technology consists of adding to its user’s physical environment through things like real-time imagery, and visual projections. Its current applications are such products like Google Glass, or an augmented reality navigation system for pilots. Though the emerging does not pose any direct threats to human safety, the report does suggest that there may be safety consequences in applications where the AR systems are depended upon as primary sources of information, for instance in flight navigation, or in the medical field. The risk from AR comes from the potential to compromise the systems, thus creating a high-risk event.

UAV’s or drones also made the list, for reasons one might expect, such as invasion of privacy, potential of physical damage (whether by projectile or the drone itself), and aerial interference. Like 3D printing technologies, CERT has stated it will continue its investigation and surveying of these at-risk technologies as they continue to develop and become more ubiquitous.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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Karen Bannan wrote at 6/2/2016 7:44:53 PM:

"As the machines, which can be found in offices, factories and homes, are connected to Wi-Fi or Ethernet and are equipped with various servomechanisms which control heating and distribution nozzles, the risk of damage to the device or its surrounding environment in the event of a security compromise seems to be the biggest risk." Also a big risk: How people can use those connected devices such as printers for a network attack. Scary stuff. Great facts in there: "Consequently, an average of 44 percent of network-connected printers within their organizations are insecure in terms of unauthorized access to data stored in printer mass storage, and an average of 55 percent are insecure in terms of unauthorized access to printed hard-copy documents." Food for thought! --Karen Bannan, commenting for IDG and HP

Shin wrote at 5/14/2016 7:34:45 AM:

While 3D printing deserves a spot on the list, it ranks far below automated vehicles and the upcoming problems of augmented reality in terms of threats to the general public. HOWEVER, the list is telling in terms of who benefits, and who stands to lose the most by these technologies. 3D printing will have greater economic impact than all the others combined, because it will transform the way commerce is done, in moving from centralized corporate factory models to domestic micro factories.

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