Securing your "smart" printer

. 2 min read

When you think of the ways in which a computer network is penetrated, a printer is not the first thing that comes to mind. Most of the employees in an organisation will have their machine connected to a smart printer, making their computers and corporate network vulnerable.  When you consider a printer has access to all the confidential documents of an organisation and yet the fact that none or very little attention is paid to it’s security, is alarming.

Just like any insecure system, most of the printers either have no password or if corporate policy mandates one, they are protected with default credentials. During our various infrastructure pentest engagements that we have conducted over the past 3 years, we have found printers to be one of the most common infrastructure components vulnerable to exploit. Once we have exploited the printer, and have access to it, we can then infiltrate the internal network even further.

Previous Smart Devices security issues

As per the information made accessible by the affected organisations, some of the most popular breaches in history have been a result of a 3rd party device connected to the network. This includes the famous Target breach which was a result of a breach with the 3rd party HVAC system. This again emphasizes on the fact that not only should an organisation care about the computer systems and servers, but also the components such as printers and other 3rd party devices.

Another interesting incident which happened recently was when a security researcher researching printer and embedded devices security, compromised millions of printers and printed Nazi messages through the printers of University of Maryland among many others.  

As per the details on Andrew’s blog, the printer hack was a result of an extremely simple vulnerability exploited by a couple of lines of Postscript code. Printers usually expose port 9100, which then could be used in a search engine such as Shodan.io, and connecting to those devices over port 9100 will allow you access to the printer.

In a survey report by Ponemon Institute, 64% of organisations don’t consider printer security to be the part of their high priority security strategy. With the general misconception being that printers are pretty simple devices and not an attacker’s target and hence the attacks against 3rd party devices are bound to rise.

Not only printing of insensitive messages is the threat scenario, but the printers can also be used as a backdoor to silently send all the documents it is printing to a remote server, or even to just be an entry point to the internal organisational network.

Steps to Secure your IoT printer:

If you are an organisation, here are the 3 steps you need to take in order to strengthen your printer security from malicious attacks:

  • Physical and network security- Ensure that only authorized persons have access to the printer.
  • Keep the printer out of the sensitive portion of the corporate network via secure authentication and authorization protections in place.
  • Don’t expose the printer to outside internet facing world.
  • Reverse Engineering and firmware modification attacks- Verify the firmware checksum of the printer whenever an update happens. This will ensure that firmware has not been modified or compromised in any way.
  • Publicly known vulnerabilities- Keep your printer up to date. This will help protect it against common vulnerabilities which could be exploited by anyone.

If you would like to learn more about IoT and device exploitation, attend Attify’s technical course on “Offensive IoT exploitation” which has been optimized through years of research and experience in device and IoT pentesting. Read more here – attify.com/trainings.php .



sneha

Growth Hacker @ Attify . I write about the security of Mobile Applications and the Internet of Things.

Get IoT Security Training

IoT Pentesting Exploitation Training

Tags

analog modulation Android android application security android hands on security and exploitation training android security Apktool application auditing application security auditing appsec usa appwatch arduino nano arm ARM binaries ARM course ARM exploitation book ARM exploitation video training ARM gadgets ARM Training attify attify badge attify training best security practices biggest iot attacks of all time binwalk blackberry pentesting blackhat ble BLE attacks BLE dangers BLE hacking and exploitation BLE security issues BLE sniffing BLE vulnerabilities bleah bluetooth technology box brut Exception BtleJuice capture radio traffic career in cybersecurity CCTV cameras challenges in iot retail chroot cloud based mobile application security scanner consulting CTF cyber attacks cybersecurity Damn Vulnerable iOS App dangers of iot DDoS attacks devops digital modulation dumping memory embedded hacking expert Exploit ARM devices exploitation exploiting ble exploiting smart devices firmadyne firmware analysis toolkit firmware emulation Firmware hacking firmware reverse engineering Flare-on frida getting started with firmware hacking GSMA guide to ARM exploitation hacked security IP cameras hacked smart devices hackers hackfest hacking smart devices healthcare business protection against iot threats healthcare cyber security how can healthcare fight iot threats How Mirai botnet infects your device How Mirai works how retail can prevent cyber attacks how to exploit ble how to hack radio waves how to protect iot devices how to secure iot device IDA internet of things Internet of Things Security internet security ios application security ios security iot iot attacks iot bots, malwares iot device IoT Devices IoT Exploitation iot hacking iot hacks IoT hacks on ARM devices iot penetration testing iot pentest iot pentesting iot security IoT security guidelines iot security training iot threats iot threats to healthcare industry iotsecurity IP cameras jtag jtag debugging latest iot attacks learn ARM exploitation measures to prevent cyber attacks on healthcare organisations Mirai Botnet mirai history mobile app mobile application security mobile application security testing mobile security monitor iot devices Mozilla network security in retail ninja recon technique NIST offensive iot exploitation ola cabs owasp owasp appsec penetration testers penetration testing pentesting pentesting mobile apps phishing attacks powerofcommunity PrinterSecurity privacy protection profession professional qemu quizup radio communication protocol radio coomunication radio waves hacking recent ARM attacks recent cyber attacks recent iot attacks recent security camera attacks retail iot Reversing safety measures to protect privacy sdr secure coding guidelines security security cameras security challenges in retail IoT security in healthcare iot security issue security issues faced by e-retailers security services security training security vulnerability setup smart devices smart user security social networking spi steps to prevent iot attacks on healthcare surveillance cameras hijacked threat modeling tools to exploit ble training uart Understanding Mirai Botnet virus vulnerabilities discovered in popular IoT IP cameras vulnerabilities in internet connected cameras vulnerability vulnerable ARM devices What is mirai botnet? why choose career in cybersecurity writeups xposed hooking zigbee zigbee exploitation zigbee security zwave

Instagram