Encryption is futile: Reconstructing 3d-printed models using the power side-channel

Jacob Gatlin, Sofia Belikovetsky, Yuval Elovici, Anthony Skjellum, Joshua Lubell, Paul Witherell, Mark Yampolskiy

Proceedings of the 24th International Symposium on Research in Attacks …, 2021

Outsourced Additive Manufacturing (AM) exposes sensitive design data to external malicious actors. Even with end-to-end encryption between the design owner and 3D-printer, side-channel attacks can be used to bypass cyber-security measures and obtain the underlying design. In this paper, we develop a method based on the power side-channel that enables accurate design reconstruction in the face of full encryption measures without any prior knowledge of the design. Our evaluation on a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printer has shown 99 % accuracy in reconstruction, a significant improvement on the state of the art. This approach demonstrates the futility of pure cyber-security measures applied to Additive Manufacturing.