Security flaw in millions of printers can open door to hackers

AP file photoHackers halfway across the world could hijack a printer and take control of an entire corporate network

WHAT: Columbia University researchers say they discovered a security flaw that is so fundamental that it may impact tens of millions of printers and other computer hardware that use built-in “embedded” firmware programs.

HOW: Many printers support automatic online “remote firmware updates.” Every time the printer accepts a job, it checks to see if a software update is included — but it typically doesn’t require a digital ID to verify the upgrade’s authenticity.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Hackers halfway across the world could hijack a printer and take control of an entire corporate network, obtaining easy access to confidential data for identity theft. The printer could even be set afire by repeated overheating.

Daily OutrageOpinionOther Opinion

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Man suing SFPD alleging officers beat him with batons

Cop attorney fires back: police were ‘interrupting a dangerous domestic violence incident’

Nuru corruption scandal prompts call to boost Ethics Commission budget

Watchdog agency lacks staff, resources to carry out its duties

Supes to boost subpoena power

Peskin legislation would allow committee to compel testimony under oath

Drug overdose deaths surpass 300 in San Francisco

Three-year rise in fatalities ‘generally driven by fentanyl’

Preston finds support for District 5 navigation center at community meeting

Supervisor hopes to narrow down list of possible locations within months

Most Read