Last week, multiple online forums and news outlets including the BBC website reported that a hacker working under the alias “Stackoverflowin” took control of more than 100,000 network-connected printers. His tools? A relatively simple script, a free weekend, and some background information from a recently-published research paper on network printer exploits.
Soon, vulnerable devices around the globe began printing page after page of ominous-sounding messages and ASCII art pictures of robots and computer terminals that had been hacked. Luckily, the Stackoverflowin printer hack was more of a wake-up call than a malicious threat. But the message was clear: your Internet-accessible network printers are susceptible to attack. Address a few basic network vulnerabilities, or the next attack may not be so benign.
Lessons Learned (?)
Recent Stackoverflowin printer mischief aside, enterprise output management experts have long advocated a comprehensive print security approach that addresses both hardware and software vulnerabilities. Our own Brent Black recently authored a Blog post on the subject and created a video outlining the challenges of secure printing:
To help organizations identify and address the many issues surrounding print security, LRS has developed a white paper entitled “A Comprehensive Approach to Safeguarding Your Print Environment.” If you want to order a copy of the white paper, contact your LRS account manager or visit this link and click on the “Email LRS” button at the bottom of the page.