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3D Printers as Bombs?

io9 obtained this report  from the National Institute of Standard and Technology.

The report raises concerns about 3D printers and their ever-growing vulnerability.  These devices “are often connected to organizational networks, have central processing units that run common commercial operating systems, store information internally on nonvolatile storage media, and may even have internal servers or routers.”

These circumstances could lead to hackers taking advantage of data, interfering with operations of 3D printers, and “committing various types of sabotage – some of which could be lethal.”  

The danger of 3D printers being turned into bombs is very real.  As Michael Chipley, a specialist in cyber-security for building control systems explains, “the issue with powders is – because they are so fine – they could become volatile depending on the chemical composition.  You probably don’t want to have a whole lot of free particulates in the air that can undergo spontaneous combustions [at a production plant.]”

Chipley believes hackers “could change the composition and proportions of the powdered metal used to print parts…Like all interconnected systems and devices, once a foothold has been established, then all nodes and other systems are at risk.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of io9

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