AIOs can be hacked through scanners

October 17, 2014

An AIO with the scanner lid open - the lasers would reflect off the lid into the machine

An AIO with the scanner lid open – the lasers would reflect off the lid into the machine

Researchers hack printers and computers through lasers shone at the printer’s scanner.

PC World reported on the hack, discovered by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, which works by “flashing visible or infrared light at the [open] scanner lid” of AIO machines, thereby infecting the printer and by extension the computer attached to it.

The experiment came about after cryptographer Adi Shamir, alongside researchers Yuval Elovici and Moti Guri, aimed to find “methods of controlling malware running on air-gapped systems”. Air-gapping isolates computers from the internet, and is “considered one of the best ways to defend critical systems and their sensitive data from cyberattacks”, but this can be “undermined” using the printer hack method.

The three wanted to “subvert the goal of preventing internet-based attacks”, as if a virus is installed on a computer disconnected from the internet through a USB drive, the hackers would “have a hard time controlling” it or stealing information because “there is no internet connection”. However, if an AIO is connected to a computer with malware, attackers could “issue commands to a malicious programme […] by flashing visible or infrared light at the scanner lid when open”.

Shamir presented the ‘Scangate’ hack at the Black Hat Europe security conference in Amsterdam, with the research finding that “if a source of light is pointed repeatedly at the white coating on the inside of the scanner’s lid” during scanning, the image will “have a series of white lines on darker background[s]”, which match the light hitting the lid.

Using Morse code to send the message in light, and then interpreting the Morse code into binary data, the hacker could then access data on the computer through the malware already on it, as the malware would “interpret the commands” as instructions. Shamir added that “several hundred bits of data” could be sent in one scan, which PC World states is “enough to send small commands that can activate various functionality” in the malware infection.

Additionally, the researchers “successfully” tested such an attack from 200, 900 and 1,200 metres away, using a laser to “flash visible light at the window of the office where the scanner was located”, lighting the room and sending the message. A more powerful laser could “produce reliable results from up to five kilometres away”, with infrared light more likely in this case to work “because it’s invisible to the naked eye”.

Also, instead of waiting for the malware to “initiate a scan”, hackers could wait until the scanner is used, and “then run their attack”, with the lines appearing on the sides of the scanned document. The three researchers again revealed that they “found a way for the malware to send data back to the attackers”, using the light from the scanner to send information back judging by the “amount of time the scanner’s light is on and reflects the open lid”.

Data that could be stolen this way could include encryption keys, though detecting scanner light from a distance “would require very sensitive equipment”, and on a higher floor hackers would “have a hard time getting good visibility”, though a drone could be used “to get closer and observ[e] the scanner from a better angle”.


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Lexmark announces Corporate Cartridges line

October 17, 2014

Lexmark CS310n

Lexmark CS310n

New line of toner cartridges for EMEA region designed to boost sustainability in businesses.

IT Web reported on Lexmark’s release of its new line of Corporate Cartridges designed for businesses in the EMEA region, with the toner cartridges compatible with Lexmark’s A4 CS/CX colour and MS/MX monochrome devices.

The OEM stated that the products are “driven” by the company’s “commitment to corporate social responsibility and guided by the principles of zero waste and the circular economy”, using Unison toner and “advanc[ing] the sustainability benefits of the Unison Print System” through the use of components recovered by the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP). They also have a “robust and durable design to deliver long-term reliability and sustained print quality”.

In order to ensure “consistent product availability” as well as minimise the environmental impact of supply chains, the cartridges are manufactured in the EU, with pricing “equivalent” to the OEM’s Return Program cartridges.

Mark Hiller, Lexmark Regional General Manager South Africa, said: “Lexmark has a strong tradition of innovation and commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. This new line of corporate cartridges represents our most sustainable supplies offering to date. In addition to the environmental and social aspects, the cartridges are also backed by Lexmark’s limited lifetime supplies warranty.”

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Panasonic launches new MFPs in MEA

October 17, 2014

The OEM has produced the KX-MB2100 series of MFPs.Panasonic2-182x212

AME Info reported on Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa’s (PMMAF) launch of MFP duplex printers at the GITEX 2014 event, with the KX-MB2100 series of machines said to help offices “save on paper usage and printing time” as “printing on one side of the page can be wasteful and inefficient”.

The three devices in the range include the KX-MB2170, KX-MB2130 and KX-MB2120, and feature print speeds of up to 24ppm alongside “enhanced” document security and mobile printing compatibility, with the duplexing said to reduce paper consumption “by up to 75 percent”. The machines and their drums are said to have respective lifecycles of 75,000 and 10,000 pages respectively, which Panasonic says means they are “highly durable” printers.

The aforementioned document security comes in the form of the Print Data feature, which “secures print documents from being leaked by protecting them with [a] high level of security”, consisting of a password “temporarily stored” on a connected computer’s hard drive that means the print can only be authorised through entry of the password on the printer.

In turn, mobile printing compatibility is ensured through working alongside Google Cloud Print and Panasonic’s own mobile printing application, whilst a Quick-job setting allows for “frequently-used functions or complicated copy/scan settings” to be programmed to the Quick-job key, “saving users their time and trouble”.

Nelson Edward, Manager of System Networks and Communication for PMMAF, stated: “The KX-MB2100 series is an ideal machine for any office that requires time and energy-saving devices that are user-friendly. Our quick duplex printers not only avoid excessive wastage of paper, which is a growing issue today, but also offer a simple and organised option for printing documents.

“The secure print feature adds an extra advantage to corporates who like to protect their confidential documents from any leakage whatsoever. This multi-function printer is sure to give any company an immediate boost in productivity.”

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Konica Minolta announces Managed Content Services

October 16, 2014

Konica-MinoltaOEM’s new MCS programme designed to streamline document processing by combining printers and software.

Konica Minolta announced the launch of its first Managed Content Services (MCS) programme as it aims to expand business by increasing capabilities to provide services and solutions, with the programme designed to increase the efficiency of customers’ individual digital workflows.

The programme falls under Konica Minolta’s medium-term business plan, ‘TRANSFORM 2016’, and will grow business content management by combining MFPs with software to create “complete” input/output devices to handle the day-to-day business processes of its customers. It will allow companies to “capture, reformat and retrieve documents more quickly to speed workflow”, “scan, save and share documents electronically, reducing paper and energy cost”, “organise and categorise document workflow so all employees stay in the loop from anywhere at any time”, and “safeguard sensitive information and respond to changing compliance demands”.

Dave Robertson, Vice President of Business Intelligence Services at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) Ltd., said: “No matter which industry you belong to, managing and utilising business content is of utmost concern for all companies. Operational concerns include keeping track of records, getting the correct documents to the right people at the right time, maintaining backup files, and more. As company paperwork, emails and security compliance requirements increase, Konica Minolta’s first MCS program will enable companies to address these challenges by streamlining and optimising business processes around their content.”

The OEM’s MCS portfolio will be available for both local and global customers.

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HP accidentally approves malware

October 14, 2014

800px-Windows_Blue_Screen_on_room_full_of_computersA developer’s infected PC then saw software signed off containing malware.

Ars Technica reported on the mistaken signing off of software on an HP developer’s PC, which was infected with a Trojan horse malware virus, meaning that the “hardware drivers and other software essential to running […] older HP computers” had been given a digital certificate that had signed off on the malware.

The OEM stated that the certificate itself “wasn’t compromised”, but that the malware was “accidentally […] digitally signed” as part of a separate software package, sending a “signed copy of itself back to its point of origin. It added that the Trojan virus “was never shipped to HP customers as part of the software package”, with the virus said to be four years old.

Antivirus company Symantec had alerted HP on discovering the signed malware, which has “since been distributed over the internet while bearing HP’s certificate”, meaning that HP will now have to reissue a “large number of software packages with a new digital signature” – a move that will not “affect systems with the software already installed”, but which will alert users if they attempt “to reinstall software from original media”.

HP added that “regardless of the cause” this will need to be undertaken, and that the “full impact” of revoking the certificate “won’t be known” until after it has been revoked on 21 October. HP’s Global Chief Information Security Officer, Brett Wahlin, told the site that “when people hear this, many will automatically assume we had some sort of compromise within our code signing infrastructure, and that is not the case.

“We can show that we’ve never had a breach on our [certificate authority] and that our code-signing infrastructure is 100 percent intact”.

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Samsung launches machines and technology in Middle East

October 14, 2014

Tsamsung_smart_multixpress_android_1mhe OEM released 10 MultiXpress machines and a smartphone app.

AME Info reported on the launches at GITEX 2014, which were said to be “state of the art” printers and printing solutions.

The MultiXpress range, recently launched in Europe, are Android-powered MFPs that can print “independent of a PC”, with two of the devices – the M2835DW and M2885FW – enabled with NFC (near-field communication) technology and “designed for heavy usage”.

The OEM also introduced the SPDS (Smart Printer Diagnostic System), which is a smartphone application that serves as a “service tool for printer failure diagnostics”. The new MFPs also feature the OEM’s Smart UX Centre, a “patented platform that allows the printers to operate without a PC, supports app scalability and features a consumer-friendly UI”.

The devices in the MultiXpress range additionally have 10.1-inch touchscreens, and the same “customisable” UX technology as featured in its Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets. The OEM noted that the 10 MFPs offer a “truly mobile printing experience”, and are “designed to be intuitive and scalable for all types of business environment”, with longer lifespans due to “lasting toner and drum technologies”.

Khaled Kamel, Director of Samsung Gulf Electronics’ Enterprise Business, stated: “Productivity, efficiency and mobility top the list of our customers’ needs, and with this in mind Samsung is pleased to launch the MultiXpress series. Designed to improve the experience of our business customers, our new Smart MultiXpress line of printing solutions combines our expertise across mobile and display technologies, delivering a powerful stand-alone printer.”

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Printer apps downloaded more than wearable tech apps

October 9, 2014

app annie printingReport shows wearable technology isn’t “burning up the app store[s]” yet.

GigaOM reported on the study from app analytics firm App Annie, which found that printer apps from companies including HP and Epson are “downloaded more often” than smartwatch or wearable technology applications, such as those used for exercise tracking.

The report looks at applications that “connect to separate hardware”, with the findings showing that “wearable technology and the internet of things aren’t burning up the app store charts just yet”. So-called “connected apps” require external hardware to work, with 30 studied by App Annie on both Apple and Google’s application stores in August.

App Annie notes that “although wearable technology has received a lot of attention recently” thanks to Apple’s foray into the smartwatch market with the iWatch, downloads for required companion apps “are still low”. First and second were Google’s streaming TV service Chromecast and exercise app Fitbit, but HP’s ePrint and AIO Printer Remote apps came fourth and 10th, whilst Kodak’s Kiosk Connect application came fifth,

The results, App Annie stated, seem to suggest “a lot more people have cable set-top boxes and printers than pieces of wearable technology”, with other TV apps including DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse and DISH Anywhere occupying third, eighth and ninth in the list, as well as implying that “people like to download apps” for printers or TVs “even though those apps aren’t required”.

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IT managers unaware of new data protection rules

October 7, 2014

dataprotectionFour in five IT managers found to be unaware of upcoming EU data protection regulation.

Research from data recovery specialists Kroll Ontrack and data erasure experts Blancco has found that 81 percent of IT managers across Europe are not familiar with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is expected to be adopted by companies from the end of 2014 but will begin to be enforced by 2016 following a transition period.

The GDPR aims to unify data protection laws to “meet the challenges of the digital age” and strengthen the protection of online personal data, and once enforced, will require all businesses handling EU residents’ data to delete personal information on request or when it is no longer required by the organisation using auditable deletion procedures.

However, while the research found that 57 percent of the 660 IT managers surveyed believe they will be directly affected by the regulation, 61 percent admit their organisation has not taken any measures to be compliant with the new rules, with 55 percent of respondents found to have not reviewed and adapted data destruction policies and a quarter not currently having a process in place for data destruction.

Should it be discovered that a business was not compliant with the GDPR, it could receive “significant” fines, with data breach sanctions ranging from €250,000 ($315,000) or 0.5 percent of annual worldwide turnover for less serious breaches, up to €1 million ($1.26 million) or five percent of annual worldwide turnover for more serious breaches. Kroll Ontrack and Blancco also noted that such businesses would also risk “large-scale reputational damage”.

Paul Le Messurier, Programme and Operations Manager at Kroll Ontrack, commented: “Organisations still have a great deal of work to do to ensure they comply with the data protection guidelines of the new GDPR regulation. Any business holding personal data on EU residents, be it online or offline, will have to abide by the new rules.

“One solution to this problem is to consult a certified, full service data destruction and erasure provider to assist in the secure deletion of unrequired data. Both Kroll Ontrack and Blancco offer the necessary tools and services to securely erase data from company servers as well as any other devices such as mobiles and tablets, ensuring that data does not fall in to the wrong hands.”

Meanwhile, Kim Väisänen, Managing Director of Blancco, said: “Blancco’s Data Erasure Management (DEM) solution can help organisations achieve compliance with the coming regulation. DEM is the most practical way to avoid fines and demonstrate compliance to auditors and also assure customers that their data will be removed when required.

“Blancco provides secure DEM across the whole asset lifecycle for individual files and folders, laptops, flash media, mobile devices, servers and the cloud. Each erasure provides a time-stamped, tamper-proof certificate for a comprehensive audit trail.”

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HP partners with Neat on new printer

October 3, 2014

images-2The new HP OfficeJet 8040 features scanning technology from Neat.  

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) and VentureBeat reported that HP has announced the new OfficeJet 8040, which will include Neat’s e-All-in-One scanners and organisation tools.

The tools candigitalise documents, and organise, store and access files from most locations and devices through the use of HP’s All-in-One Printer Remote app, which iscompatible with the iPhone from version 4 onwards, iPad 4 or iPad Air, and the iPad Mini. The printer is also the first HP machine that comes with a built-in one-terabyte hard disk drive for keeping files and documents safe that have been scanned and organised.

TUAW said that Neat’s software is “quite impressive”, as it allows for the scanning of receipts, business cards and other documents while making the data on those documents searchable by keyword and exportable to other applications. Neat normally costs $5.99 (£3.67/€4.67) per month: however, HP is including it for free for three years with the printer.

HP also announced that the OfficeJet 8040 features itsInstant Ink software, which The Recycler previously reported on, and which Nubeprint has profiled in recent weeks.

Craig Stein, Senior Product Manager for HP’s Inkjet and Printing Solutions Division, told VentureBeat:“What we’re really bringing to market is a twist on the traditional all-in-one. This product is designed with the home-based worker in mind. It’s for the person trying to build and manage their own business.”

Manel Martinez, Vice President of Experience Design and Marketing for HP’s Inkjet Printing Solutions, added:“Our customers have told us they want to be able to work at home and on-the-go as efficiently and cost effectively as they do at the office. The HP Officejet 8040 and Neat software help streamline the home office, removing clutter and maximising productivity. When customers add the cost savings and convenience of HP Instant Ink, they have a robust printing system that delivers affordable office-like performance at home.”

The printer will be available for $400 (£245.23/€311.52) when released.



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HP to develop high-volume inkjet solutions

October 2, 2014

HPColorInkjetWebPressThe OEM has partnered with KBA to provide inkjet solutions for the corrugated packaging market.

The partnership between HP and KBA (Koenig & Bauer Group) was announced at Graph Expo 2014, and will see the two companies work together on the “high-volume inkjet solutions” in corrugated packaging “and beyond”, with the “digital innovations” set to “open new application and market opportunities”.

The solutions consist of “roll-to-roll” inkjet solutions to be used in the corrugated packaging market, with the products to be marketed under HP’s branding, and designed to help packaging converters “increase productivity, scalability and versatility” in a market worth around $2.5 billion (€1.9 billion) that is “steadily increasing worldwide due to brand globalisation, population growth and a resurging economy”.

The high-speed roll-to-roll thermal inkjet products will aim to “provide value chain cost savings while meeting brands’ rigorous quality and volume requirements”, as other factors including “stock keeping unit (SKU) proliferation” and “micro-segmentation and shorter product lifecycles” are said to be “driving demand for the shorter run lengths enabled by digital print”.

HP stated that the agreement “demonstrates HP’s continued pursuit of corrugated packaging opportunities and intention to broaden its portfolio of inkjet products and solutions”, whilst KBA will “bring its strengths in paper handling, manufacturing scale and wide knowledge of the packaging market” to the partnership.

Aurelio Maruggi, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Inkjet High-Speed Production Solutions, stated: “Addressing the enormous digital opportunity in the corrugated market requires best-in-class technology innovation, portfolio scale and market leadership. HP brings this unique combination as well as proven customer success and upgradability to this challenge, and together with KBA, HP can bring even greater value to high-end converters.”

Christoph Müller, Executive Vice President of KBA’s Web Press Business Unit, added: “KBA has a rich heritage of developing innovative solutions that meet or exceed customers’ quality expectations. In working with HP, we will combine our complementary technological strengths to meet the needs of packaging converters.”

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