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PewDiePie supporters hack 50,000 printers to highlight security lapses

PewDiePie supporters hack 50,000 printers to highlight security lapses
  • A hacker said that due to the flaws in a printer’s firmware, it was possible to write random data onto to the chip.
  • The vulnerabilities can allow hackers to steal sensitive documents as they get printed.

It was only last month that PewDeiPie supporters breached thousands of printers to promote the YouTube vlogger across the globe. And, now they are back again with yet another hacking stunt that highlighted the vulnerabilities in printers.

The attackers hacked at least 50,000 printers to highlight how a user can fall victim due to security lapses in printers.

"I've been trying to show that 'hacking' isn't a game or toy, it can have serious real-life consequences," the anonymous hacker told BBC. He said that due to the flaws in a printer’s firmware, it was possible to write random data onto to the chip.

"These chips have a limited lifetime of 'writes'. If you keep the loop on enough, the chip will fry and the printer will no longer function,” the hacker explained.

Impact

The vulnerabilities in question can not only destroy printers but can also allow hackers to steal sensitive documents as they get printed.

"The fallout goes beyond print-outs, we could also be capturing sensitive documents as they get printed or even modify documents as they get printed. We really want people to pay attention to this because causing physical damage is very much a possibility,” the hacker said.

Although the damage is believed to affect printers worldwide, it is still unknown whether hackers carried out the attack against an individual company or household.

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