If you have a local network at home with several connected PCs, I am sure that you will take measures to protect them against possible threats arriving from abroad. But and if I tell you that? printers also need to have their own security protocols, since they can be a perfect attack point?
The weakest link in a chain is that marks their strength, and in local networks of offices increasingly are detected more attacks that have originated in the connected printers. This is why HP has recently introduced a new range of printers of office that highlight new security measures, but?printers are really so “hackable” and dangerous How do you say HP?
How does a printer security violated?
We all understand how a hacker can connect to an external computer and exploit any vulnerability to get private access to it. But we interpret someone “to enter” a printer? The first thing we have to do is let us imagine printers that we have at home and keep in mind that present in office printers have many more components.
Components such as a hard disk, a memory cache, and various forms of connected on local network with computers and devices to your around and remotely on networks. These printers they are, in short, virtually complete computers in which someone without access can be leveraged to get data.
Cases have been reported in universities with students using connected printers discs to store personal data
Now while this has become patent discovered threats, in which a hacker could even modify a printer firmware so it hot fiddle until smoke this cast. Forbes also commented the topic in 2013, denouncing the vulnerable who were printing points networks.
Another example: in a computer on the side of evil explained, few months ago, as the simple search for a URL in Google was able to find Brother printers connected in a local network without sufficient protection and even locate the factory identification data for the control. And if we know some code, something similar was able to do with certain models of Samsung printers.
This protects a printer
What measures are beginning to take manufacturers to improve the safety of its printers to all these attacks? Well for starters There are systems that check the BIOS boot each printer by checking that all the firmware that runs is known and safe (using a whitelist). In case of detection of malware, the printer is capable of charging a forensically sound copy of the original firmware that has stored separately to prevent unwanted access.
In terms of identity, printers can also ask that Insert a USB key that confirm our identity at all times in order to receive data and print them. This ensures that only those who are physically close to the printer to print and that nobody can access what has been stored in the memory of the printer remotely.
At the same time there are also monitoring tools aimed at computer makers from each company from which can be activated or disable protocols as Telnet (precisely the most used to send channel attacks computer worldwide) or FTP. If it detects an attack on one of those channels, it is disabled to prevent immediate damage and further measures with more tranquility are taken. On the official website of Canon we can see tips to protect professional printers such as creating a firewall and protect them behind a router without that your IP is exposed.
If we reviewed all these measures, you’ll see that little already differ from those that we have in any office computer to start network: protected firmware, secure identities, protected… BIOS boot is eliminate the weak link that these printers are becoming, and avoid that any attacker can get data on sites as unexpected as the memory of a multifunction office.
Are we seeing something like this in our homes at some point? Our printers and multifunctions are already connected to our local network to operate instead of by traditional USB cables, which makes them automatically in remotely accessible devices. Anyway we are talking about devices not equipped with internal disk or boot too many protocols such as Office Professional printers, making them too simple to capture the attention of any hacker. It will depend on our local network protection, but at the moment all these measures of protection that we have talked about focus on companies where many people use the same machine for printing documents.