In an Internet world that is increasingly focused on connected devices, malicious hackers are seeing more opportunities to ply their nefarious trade. One of the most notorious cyber-attacks of 2016 involved tampering with dozens of network printers at major universities and private homes, which were hit with ugly, anti-Semitic literature.

Vulnerabilities in Network Security from Network Printers

At least two California universities were targeted by this disgusting hack, which had the unpleasant effect of computer lab users finding deeply offensive and racist pamphlets suddenly appear in their printer trays. This cyber intrusion was perpetrated by the same hacker who was found guilty of identity fraud and illegally accessing a computer without permission in the massive 2011 hack of AT&T’s iPad user database, which leaked thousands of private email addresses.

The same hacker would later have his conviction vacated on a technicality and was released from prison; he then fled to Eastern Europe, where he has assumed a white supremacist stance while continuing to launch sociopathic cyber attacks.

Apple Valley Internet Ports Left Vulnerable to Attack

Social media updates posted by the hacker indicate that the network printers he hacked were discovered through port scanning in the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the space occupied by connected smart-devices. The hacker specifically looked for instances of port 9100 left open and unsecured, which allowed him to write malware code and instruct the network devices to print the anti-Semitic literature.

According to The Daily Californian, the news publication of UC Berkeley, dozens of computers across campus were attacked over a weekend in late March. All the devices were connected to the local network; however, the printers on the Open Computing Facility lab were not affected because they were properly installed and secured.

Setting Up Apple Valley Network Printers Safely & Securely

The ability to connect printers to a network has been around for a couple of decades. Modern printers often ship with installation wizards that enable cloud printing and other network features. More often than not, these wizards leave port 9100 open and unsecured, which means that anyone who discovers it can run PostScript hacks. In a way, this is similar to fax machines that receive unwanted advertising.

The aforementioned attack on network printers was not very sophisticated and can certainly occur in Apple Valley. More dangerous hacks of network printers may involve redirecting the print queue and stealing information. If you want to ensure that your network printer is securely installed in Apple Valley, contact our technicians today.