The Vicious Side of 4D Printing: Physical Logic Bombs and Mitigation Strategies

4D printing, thus far, has shown useful applications in domains such as aerospace, automotive, and medical. In recent work, a novel class of stealthy attacks on printed objects that leverage the fourth dimension of emerging 4D printing technology to introduce embedded logic bombs through manufacturing process manipulation was revealed. It was shown that once injected into the printed objects, the logic bombs (using the smart materials, residual stress, and their shape memory effects) could be activated later using appropriate stimuli. This would maliciously alter the design structure of the 3D-printed objects and potentially lead to catastrophic consequences. The study also proposed new mitigation strategies for real-time and post-production monitoring of printing processes to avoid such malicious attacks.

This work was conducted in a joint effort by 4D printing researchers at Georgia Tech and Rutgers universities.

Le, T., Etigowni, S., Liang, S., Peng, X., Qi, J., Javanmard, M., Zonouz, S., and Beyah, R., 2021, December. Physical Logic Bombs in 3D Printers via Emerging 4D Techniques. In Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (pp. 732-747).

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