50,000 printers hacked for YouTube channel advertisement

YouTube is the video platform on the web. It’s huge, there are videos for everyone, and – best of all – it’s mostly free. For some people the platform is even the new television. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that it has its own stars – people like DanTDN, Markiplier, or PewDiePie. And man are these fans hardcore!

It seems that the most famous YouTuber, PewDiePie – a Swedish guy who became famous thanks to his gaming lets plays – is in danger of losing his crown to another channel: T-Series, India’s largest Music Label & Movie Studio. A raving fan decided that he needs to make sure that never happens and hacked 50,000 printers to help the cause.

Printer spewed out “Save PewDiePie” messages

A hacker named @HackerGiraffe decided to take matters into his own hands and help his idol out to win the turf war. To do so he looked for printers with old firmware that are connected to the internet and have not closed the necessary ports.

This sounds actually harder than it is – apparently the whole procedure is pretty basic, has been done in the past already, and there is even a toolkit for it.  All that’s being done is that the script sends print messages to printers that have open IPP, LPD, and 9100 ports.

Update, Update, Update

While nothing really bad happened with the above hack, it’s still not cool and might be a wake-up-call for some. It is always important to keep your software, drivers, and in this case firmware up-to-date in order to not offer cyber criminals an extra gateway to get on your device. Also make sure to take care of those open ports. There are tools to help with both tasks, so you basically have no excuse not to stay secure.

This post is also available in: German

PR & Social Media Manager @ Avira |Gamer. Geek. Tech addict.