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.

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

"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

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/internet-security/354417/avast-and-avg-extensions-pulled-from-chrome
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019
Visit/security/354156/google-confirms-android-cameras-can-be-hijacked-to-spy-on-you
Security

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354602/xerox-to-nominate-directors-to-hps-board-reports
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to nominate directors to HP's board – reports

22 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020