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Hackers highlight printer security flaws

December 18, 2018

Hackers have struck again, continuing their series of attacks – which included the notorious PewDiePie hack – with another hack which once again supports the vlogger but also urges victims to focus on their printer’s security.

As the BBC reports, following the PewDiePie hack of last month, which targeted 50,000 printers, this latest attack “again urges support for the YouTuber, but also calls on victims to improve their security.”

Speaking anonymously, the PewDiePie hacker said, “”I’ve been trying to show that ‘hacking’ isn’t a game or toy, it can have serious real-life consequences,” adding, “We really want people to pay attention to this because causing physical damage is very much a possibility.”

As well as revealing that weak points in printer firmware mean that he can “continuously force data to be written” to the printers’ chips, he also highlighted another worrying issue.

“The fallout goes beyond print-outs, we could also be capturing sensitive documents as they get printed or even modify documents as they get printed.”

The PewDiePie hacker and his cohorts have alleged that with their latest attack they managed to infiltrate over 100,000 devices, twice the amount involved in the original stunt.

Printers in countries across the globe were targeted, including Argentina, Australia, Spain and Chile.

Security providers have been offering advice on how to bolster the security of printers, urging organisations to carry out frequent audits of their devices, install the latest security patches, and query whether or not internet-connected devices really need to be hooked up to the web.

“The risk of causing financial damage in this case is as real as it gets,” commented Bob Reny from the security firm ForeScout.

“And all of this because organisations or individuals installed a connected device without really taking the time to audit the implications this has on their existing network security infrastructure.”

One of the hackers involved told the BBC they believed what they were doing was “justified”, saying, “While authorities might not see eye to eye with us, what we’re doing is much better than someone destroying printers and offices around the world in an attempt to hold printers ransom or something.”

Categories : Around the Industry

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