Electronics 2019, 8(10), 1078
Special Issue Applications of Electromagnetic Waves
Abstract: Classified information may be derivable from unintended electromagnetic signals. This article presents a technical analysis of LED arrays used in monochrome computer printers and their contribution to unintentional electromagnetic emanations. Analyses were based on realistic type sizes and distribution of glyphs. Usable pictures were reconstructed from intercepted radio frequency (RF) emanations. We observed differences in the legibility of information receivable at a distance that we attribute to different ways used by printer designers to control the LED arrays, particularly the difference between relatively high voltage single-ended waveforms and lower-voltage differential signals. To decode the compromising emanations required knowledge of—or guessing—printer operating parameters including resolution, printing speed, and paper size. Measurements were carried out across differences in construction and control of the LED arrays in tested printers.