There’s another interesting hack in the works that shows printers are computers too. This has to do with that “PewDiePie printer hack.”
People are posting printer hacks of weird messages to Twitter. This is in regard to a YouTube popularity contest that a fan took too far.
No, PewDiePie didn’t hack you, and this isn’t even his fault.
This fan (the hacker) found out about thousands of internet-facing printers across multiple countries that are susceptible to a hack. The hacker made this discovery and how to exploit the vulnerability, all in about 30 minutes. The attacker mentioned that they were surprised in how easy it was to pull off.
The hacker made these printers print a message saying they should subscribe to PewDiePie. Furthermore, the hacker tried to soften the blow by saying he was trying to teach people a lesson about printer security. A good lesson indeed, but it’s hardly going to be taken nicely by everyone.
The takeaway here is that it’s super easy to compromise a modern printer, especially if it’s connected directly to the Internet. The scary part about this hack, is it could have been taken further.
Even though I disavow the “hack first, ask permission later” approach to vulnerability disclosure in production systems, the hacker still teaches a good lesson. Printer security isn’t as high of a priority to most organizations. They’re just seen as these old business solutions since they’ve been around for so long.
Know this – printers are computing devices that are connected to the network. And in the growing world of IoT devices, it’s more important to understand this about anything that can connect to the network.
Greetings from a friendly Giraffe indeed. Anything about this PewDiePie printer hack that caught your eye?
Update 12/2018: Forbes writer Thomas Brewster goes into this topic in a little more depth, illustrating how this is a bigger problem than it looks.