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Automatic authentication of color laser print-outs using machine identification codes

Abstract

Authentication of documents can be done by detecting the printing device used to generate the print-out. Many manufacturers of color laser printers and copiers designed their devices in a way to integrate a unique tracking pattern in each print-out. This pattern is used to identify the exact device the print-out originates from. In this paper, we present an important extension of our previous work for (a) detecting the class of printer that was used to generate a print-out, namely automatic methods for (b) comparing two base patterns from two different print-outs to verify if two print-outs come from the same printer and for (c) automatic decoding of the base pattern to extract the serial number and, if available, the time and the date the document was printed. Finally, we present (d) the first public dataset on tracking patterns (also called machine identification codes) containing 1,264 images from 132 different printers. Evaluation on this dataset resulted in accuracies of up to 93.0 % for detecting the printer class. Comparison and decoding of the tracking patterns achieved accuracies of 91.3 and 98.3 %, respectively.

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Notes

  1. If one source uses more than one color laser printers, the questioned document has to be compared to several base patterns instead of just one.

  2. Roughly speaking, these classes can be assigned to different manufacturers.

  3. The dataset can be downloaded from https://madm.dfki.de/downloads-ds-mic.

  4. Some sets are not complete, others have extra pages, e.g. printer configuration pages.

  5. http://www.eff.org/wp/investigating-machine-identification-code-technology-color-laser-printers#testsheets.

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Correspondence to Joost van Beusekom.

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van Beusekom, J., Shafait, F. & Breuel, T.M. Automatic authentication of color laser print-outs using machine identification codes. Pattern Anal Applic 16, 663–678 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10044-012-0287-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10044-012-0287-5

Keywords

  • Machine identification code
  • Counterfeit protection
  • Document authentication
  • Color laser printer identification