Item #: SCP-920
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-920 is to be stored in a humidity-controlled locker. The locker is to be enclosed in a Faraday cage which in turn is to be placed in a containment chamber that is shielded to prevent radio, cellular-phone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microwave, infrared and any other form of electronic communication. Under no circumstances is SCP-920 to be connected to an electrical power source or communications network. SCP-920's paper tray and toner cartridge are each to be kept in separate lockers at a different facility than the rest of SCP-920's hardware. The paper tray and toner cartridge are each to be kept empty at all times.
All analysis documentation of SCP-920 is to be handwritten or typed using a non-electronic manual typewriter, and stored on acid-free paper. Such paper copies, and not any electronic copies of any such documentation, are to be regarded as the reference documentation. Whenever possible, personnel involved in the containment and study of SCP-920 are to meet in person and orally brief one another on their findings.
SUPERSEDED BY POLICY DIRECTIVE K-23396-D6.
Description: SCP-920 is a workgroup printer superficially resembling those manufactured and distributed by the ███████ Corporation in 200█. The printer bears a placard indicating model number E466at but ███████ manufactured no such model. The subject's physical components are unremarkable.
The internal software of the subject printer consist of complex algorithms that affect the functionality of the subject's print function, and the functionality of computers, systems, networks or devices with which the subject directly or indirectly interacts. These effects manifest in several stages (not always in the following sequence):
|02||Printer occasionally fails to properly execute print commands in any of several ways, including mechanical paper jams, failure to set toner such that print product smears, or displays flashing error codes while refusing to print.|
|03||Same as Stage 2. On occasion, a document sent to printer will appear to print normally but with subtle changes in the content of document.|
|04||Same as Stages 2-3. Other printers connected to the same network, regardless of make and model, will also exhibit Stage 3 behavior. It is believed that the subject propagates code to such other printers in the manner of a computer virus.|
|05||Same as Stages 2-4. Printer (and other printers on the same network) will make dramatic changes to printed documents, including altering or reversing the meaning of text.|
|06||Same as Stages 2-5. Electronic devices in the vicinity of any affected printer, such as enterprise telephone systems and photocopiers, will evince anomalous behavior such as "phantom" telephone calls, photocopier paper jams, telephone line static and changes to files stored on computers. The manner in which the algorithms are propagated from affected printers to other hardware is not understood.|
|07||Same as Stages 2-6. Computers conected to the same network as any affected hardware will occasionally engage in spontaneous behavior such as creating and distributing documents such as email messages, Powerpoint presentations, paper memoranda and other files. Affected voicemail systems will produce phantom "messages", and users of affected telephone systems will receive phantom telephone calls which originate from SCP-920 but which impersonate the voice and mannerisms of other individuals within the organization. These documents and communications generally appear to be consistent in form with those normally produced by the organization maintaining or using the network, but they purport to change organizational policy or instruct personnel to take, or to refrain from taking, various actions.|
|08||Same as Stages 2-7. Mechanical and environmental systems of any structure housing affected equipment will occasionally engage in anomalous behavior. Such behavior may include elevator doors refusing to open, or closing suddenly and with great force; plumbing systems heating water to dangerous temperatures, HVAC systems introducing contaminants into the atmosphere, hazardous electrical shorts from wiring, and a failure of electronic door locks to disengage.|
|09||Same as Stages 2-8. Irregular behavior extends to electronic and mechanical systems in proximity to any electronic device that has, in turn, been in proximity to an affected system. Affected systems may include a cellular telephone that has been brought into a building that contains an affected network, a motor vehicle whose passenger cabin contains or formerly contained such a cellular telephone, or electronic systems in locations near such a vehicle.|
SCP-920's algorithms have the consequence of altering the behavior of organizations that use affected systems. The messages that affected systems deliver to individuals appear to originate from those individuals' superiors within the organization's chain of command. Those messages cause the organization to undertake particular policy initiatives, changes in management structure, or other organizational decisions that, when analyzed objectively, are not consistent with the organization's mission or goals. The agenda or underlying intentions of the algorithm are not understood.
The SCP-920 algorithms are believed to incorporate self-preservation functionality. Among the actions and policy decisions that the SCP-920 causes an organization's personnel to undertake are actions that facilitate the acceleration of the spread of the algorithms, and that hinder actions that are likely to retard it. In particular, Stage 08 and 09 behavior appear to occur only when necessary in order to prevent an individual from interfering with the algorithm.
Recovery Notes: SCP-920 was recovered from the headquarters of ██████ Insurance Company in 20██. The insurance company had become insolvent and entered receivership following a pattern of promoting unsuitable employees to positions of responsibility within the institution, which appears to have commenced approximately five months after the company had obtained and installed SCP-920 in its offices. This time period also coincided with seemingly arbitrary, and unsound, policy changes in the company's insurance underwriting and human resources practices.
The subject came to the Foundation's attention after Foundation agents recovered the body of Jermaine ████. Mr. ████ was the assistant information technology officer for the company. He had asphyxiated in his automobile in the garage of his residence; investigation of the scene indicated that Mr. ████ had entered his vehicle and activated the motor, but was then unable to operate the automatic garage door or the vehicle's power locks before he was overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning. Handwritten notes found on Mr. ████'s person referred to SCP-920 and outlined a plan to remove it from the company office building and destroy it.
Policy Directive K-23396-D6 dated ██-██-20██
SCP-920 is to be removed from containment and returned to normal service in the Accounts Payable department at the Foundation's administrative headquarters. There is nothing wrong with that printer. The Foundation's IT budget for this fiscal quarter has been prepared in accordance with the policy that perfectly serviceable assets are not to be kept in storage indefinitely, where they will simply depreciate without contributing to the advancement of the Foundation's mission statement.
Site Director W. Lumbergh
cc (via email):
Site Assistant Director Peter Gibbons
Sheldon Katz, Esq., Legal Department