30 minute hack has gone global with new instances of PewDiePie support messages being printed out in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Spain, the UK, and the USA. An estimated 100,000 support messages have been printed.
What started out as a 30 minute hack by TheHackerGiraffe has been repeated several times by other parties. And, as shown below, the latest messages are more than a simple support message for PewDiePie, they have a public service angle by emphasizing the printer vulnerabilities.
Security experts have pointed out that owners of the vulnerable printers could also have printed messages getting intercepted, hacked and even the printer’s computer chip getting damaged.
Laughter aside, the hack of thousands of printers – in homes, businesses, even police stations – to print out support messages for PewDiePie is a clear warning that something worse could happen to you and that shiny new printer that is just waiting to be unwrapped and plugged in.
“People underestimate how easy a malicious hacker could have used a vulnerability like this to cause major havoc,” TheHackerGiraffe said to the Verge. “The most horrifying part is: I never considered hacking printers before, the whole learning, downloading and scripting process took no more than 30 minutes.”
For a professional take-down of the situation, I talked to developers of print management software for modern Multi-Functional Printers for their take on the situation. These MFPs are devices in a modern office that do everything from printing/scanning/and forwarding documents. Understandably, these individuals did not want their names or the name of their software publicized.
Here are four major points they said people should remember:
In the professional environment – whether school or business – the responsibility for fixing this printer vulnerability rests squarely on the network admin’s shoulders. And if it is a home printer – the responsibility is yours.