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Protecting Additive Manufacturing Information when Encryption is Insufficient



Joshua Lubell


Recent research shows how a side-channel attack on a material extrusion-based 3D printing process can bypass encryption-based defenses to obtain proprietary design information. This result has critical implications for outsourced additive manufacturing (AM). Three complementary cyber-risk management guidance specifications can help point the way for customers of AM services in protecting against such attacks – when the usual defenses are inadequate. This paper provides an overview of the three specifications, discussing what each provides. It then shows how the specifications can be used together to determine the appropriate security measures to implement for protection against the side-channel attack scenario. The takeaway from this investigation is that there is more to AM security than technical protection measures. A risk-based process is also needed to help find appropriate alternatives when technical controls such as encryption are not an option.
Progress in Additive Manufacturing 2021
Publisher Info
ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA


Additive Manufacturing, Cybersecurity, Risk Management, Security Controls, Side-Channel Attack, Technical Data Theft, Outsourced Additive Manufacturing


Lubell, J. (2022), Protecting Additive Manufacturing Information when Encryption is Insufficient, Progress in Additive Manufacturing 2021, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, [online],, (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created December 1, 2022, Updated January 26, 2023