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I often print confidential documents over a large intranet to various printers based on where I am in the building. However, since the building is so large, it is highly likely there is a malicious device connected somewhere in the network, and I wish to reduce the risk of these private documents being intercepted by an attacker.

To prevent unsuspecting man-in-the-middle attacks across a large network, I would like to encrypt my print jobs as they travel across the network to the printer of my choice. The printers in question are already physically secure and kept in restricted areas.

Is there any secure protocol (SSL/TLS) I can use for sending print jobs to give me any protection at all? Would it be best to simply switch those secure printers to a different VLAN and then switch my device to the printers' VLAN when I must use them? Are there any printers at all that support secure printing?

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    many printers let you print from a usb thumb drive... – dandavis Jul 17 '16 at 23:50
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    We use smart cards and a printing network that allows us to send the encrypted print job to the printer, where we can release it with our smart card. IPP can be configured for encryption as well. – elBradford Jul 18 '16 at 0:56
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Many printers, especially those used in businesses, support IPP over HTTPS. If you have access to the printer's control panel, you can enable HTTPS and install a certificate that you trust. On your computer, set up a printer manually and specify https://printer-domain or printer-domain:443 as the printer's address, depending on what operating system you are using.

You can usually find documentation for your specific printer model about how to enable HTTPS.

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Most printers support IPP (Internet Printing Protocol). From the wiki:

Unlike other printing protocols, IPP also supports access control, authentication, and encryption, making it a much more capable and secure printing mechanism than older ones.

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I'm a little old fashioned, what about a print server? Just about any old computer could handle it, or even a $5 Pi.

  • If I understand you correctly, this would require one print server on the same LAN as each target printer, which doesn't appear to match the intent of the question. – Royce Williams Oct 23 '17 at 4:10

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