Hacker takes over 150,000 buggy printers

Affected printers come from HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, Lexmark, and Minolta

A hacker has managed to take over more than 150,000 networked printers including some manufactured by HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, Lexmark and Minolta.

The actor, who goes by the alias Stackoverflowin, executed a program that searched the internet to find printers that were online but didn't have basic security controls enabled.

Advertisement - Article continues below

When a printer was discovered, the program ordered the printer to alert the user by printing out a message that read, "stackoverflowin the hacker god has returned, your printer is part of a flaming botnet, operating on putin's forehead utilising BTI's (break the internet) complex infrastructure. [ASCII ART HERE] For the love of God, please close this port, skid. ------- Questions? Twitter: https://twitter.com/lmaostack."

Some earlier messages sent out to printers also included a ASCII picture of a robot or a computer, just to add a little creativity to the warning.

The attack follows the publication of a report by German researchers that highlighted printers' security holes, finding hackers could access printers' memory to rerieve sensitive documents and even passwords. Stackoverflowin's own hack serves as a stark warning to those using networked printers without having the correct security procedures in place.

Commercial printers, home printers and even receipt printers in restaurants were affected by the hack, although it doesn't seem Stackoverflowin wanted to do any harm to the victims, but rather wanted to warn them before someone else got there first and could have launched a malicious attack.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"I'm about helping people to fix their problem, but having a bit of fun at the same time," Stackoverflowin told Bleeping Computer. "Everyone's been cool about it and thanked me to be honest."

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/ransomware/356292/university-of-california-gets-fleeced-by-hackers-for-114-million
ransomware

University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/356289/australia-announces-135b-investment-in-cybersecurity
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/cloud-security/356288/csa-and-issa-form-cybersecurity-partnership
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020
Visit/business/policy-legislation/356215/senators-propose-a-bill-aimed-at-ending-warrant-proof-encryption
Policy & legislation

Senators propose a bill aimed at ending warrant-proof encryption

24 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Visit/business/business-operations/356395/nvidia-overtakes-intel-as-most-valuable-us-chipmaker
Business operations

Nvidia overtakes Intel as most valuable US chipmaker

9 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/356083/the-best-server-solution-for-your-smb
Sponsored

The best server solution for your SMB

26 Jun 2020