Hackers could take over 3D Printers to produce Defective Products

Posted on July 18, 2016 by .

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3D printers have become a newfound tool for creating items and products on the fly for just about any application that you can imagine. Companies, small businesses, and private citizens all over the world are adopting the concept of 3D printers and using them to create nearly any type of item that you can imagine. As it turns out, 3D printers aren’t safe when it comes to hackers now breaching networks to hack 3D printers and alter operations to produce defective products.

Hackers don’t stop at anything in their task of causing destruction, grief, and many times loss of money. By hacking 3D printers that are found within business around the world, it would essentially allow hackers to create defective products that could pass through businesses and have a significant negative impact on a company’s operations.

By hacking 3D printers, companies would be put in a dangerous position that could mean a serious loss of revenue by selling defective products created by hacked 3D printers. The companies today who utilize 3D printers create projects in 3D computer-aided environments and by taking that data and changing it or misconstruing it may create a mass of defective items by a hacked 3D printer.

The task of hacking a 3D printer is rather easy for those who have the proper know-how and tools. Once hacked, a 3D printer would not require much change in its instruction set, which does not include any manipulation of the CAD file sent to the unit. A hacked 3D printer would only require its printer head orientation to be changed to set-off the course of producing a defective product.

A few degrees of change within a 3D printer’s head, which can be done by breaching the core settings of the device, can modify the pattern. The modifications from the hack may not be visible to the human eye but could have a grave impact on the final product, thus causing the company money to “fix” the issue after printed items are sold.

Companies using 3D printers that are connected to a vulnerable network should be aware of a potential breach that could compromise their printed products. For now, the idea is a looming threat but not prevalent enough to issue a warning. Though, the growing concern is there, and companies may want to prepare themselves as hackers may ramp up efforts to attack 3D printers in the near future.

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