That’s right. Printers are computers, too.
Remember when we found out a Canon Pixma printer could run Doom? That fun hack was nearly 3 years ago (at least published 3 years ago, anyway).
A security researcher from Context Information Security used modified firmware from the Internet to run the classic 90s computer game Doom.
And while we’re on this topic, Doom can quite literally run on any device.
Although loading a game of devices seems fairly harmless, the firmware could be used for more nefarious purposes, such as spying on printed documents or being used as a pivot point into a user’s network.
If you think your firewall is all you need to protect yourself. Think again.
Endpoints behind the firewall, including network printers, need to be secured. So please don’t have your printers set with the default username and password with minimal security activated.
Multifunction printers (MFPs) are a bit more cumbersome. They have upwards of 250 security settings or more. Between that, maintenance, and resource replacement, managed print services start to make sense. Move forward with the option that makes the most budgetary sense.
Either way, ensure your printer isn’t connected directly to the Internet and keep your firmware up to date.
What’s an interesting printer hack you’ve seen recently? Sound off in the comments below.
Update 11/2018: Another interesting printer hack that prints a 1-page message to subscribe to PewDiePie. Always remember that printers are computers, too!