Is this stack only about reverse-engineering software and firmware? What about hardware?
We have a few semi-industrial ink-jet printers (like $2,000 each so, whatever tier that means to you).
It has these special ink cartridges that have chips in them that don’t allow you to refill the cartridge.
We have found a supplier that sells us replacement chips but they are still quite costly, and still one-time use.
My boss has asked me to investigate if it is possible to find out a way to “manually reset" these chips or otherwise reverse-engineer them with a solution that would not require us to keep buying more chips in order to refill the ink ourselves.
I’m not sure where to start on this.
I’m not sure if the chips have some kind of encrypted communication with the printer rendering the entire plan infeasible.
I’m not sure if the chips are one-time use because something physically changes internally that cannot be undone (if so, then could a replacement chip emulate this functionality, but be resettable?)
I’m not sure on the legality of this endeavor either. Does this fall under break DRM? Can ink have DRM?
I’ve already told my boss that this will likely be more hassle than it is worth in terms of time and the cost to pay a specialist to attempt to reverse engineer a solution. But, he still wants me to look into it.
My one advantage is that I am in Taiwan right now, and I could fly to China easily as well to find someone to do this kind of work. I feel like both those countries are prime candidates for having the technical capability and knowhow, the willingness and motivation to circumvent a product’s security features, and a lower cost of labor. But I’m also willing to entertain the idea of a single professional from any country helping me out.
Anyone have any idea how I would go about starting this? How can I find a person or a firm in China or Taiwan willing to look into this problem?