Hackers Can Remotely Set Your Printer On Fire (Or Blow It Up) – Not According To HP!

Posted by on November 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Computer peripheral mega-corp Hewlett-Packard today released a statement regarding the rumors that hackers can set your printer on fire, remotely, using a script to shut down its thermal protection.

HP says this rumor is exactly that…a rumor.

So what does HP have to say about the whole thing?

Here’s the press release!

Today there has been sensational and inaccurate reporting regarding a potential security vulnerability with some HP LaserJet printers. No customer has reported unauthorized access. Speculation regarding potential for devices to catch fire due to a firmware change is false.

HP LaserJet printers have a hardware element called a “thermal breaker” that is designed to prevent the fuser from overheating or causing a fire. It cannot be overcome by a firmware change or this proposed vulnerability.

While HP has identified a potential security vulnerability with some HP LaserJet printers, no customer has reported unauthorized access. The specific vulnerability exists for some HP LaserJet devices if placed on a public internet without a firewall. In a private network, some printers may be vulnerable if a malicious effort is made to modify the firmware of the device by a trusted party on the network. In some Linux or Mac environments, it may be possible for a specially formatted corrupt print job to trigger a firmware upgrade.

HP is building a firmware upgrade to mitigate this issue and will be communicating this proactively to customers and partners who may be impacted. In the meantime, HP reiterates its recommendation to follow best practices for securing devices by placing printers behind a firewall and, where possible, disabling remote firmware upload on exposed printers.

HP will continue to educate customers about security risks and the features available to address them, and take proactive steps to maintain the security of devices in the field. HP Imaging and Printing Security Solutions work directly at the device and on the network to protect information at rest and in motion, and to prevent unauthorized access.

Well, I think that just about clears THAT up.

Stop being so worried, folks!

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  • Fire and paper?! Zomg I better race home, I think I left the printer on xD

    Though seriously, that’s quite a huge flaw, personal security wise. They would obviously include some sort of system in the design to prevent overheating, it would be just plain ignorant otherwise.

  • MegaScott

    Hmmm, one would wonder why there is a picture of an HP DESKJET on fire. Isn’t the article about HP LASERJETS?? LOL.

    • Tell ya what, scooter…find me a hi res, stock image of an hp laserjet, on fire and I’ll change images as fast as you can say lickety-split.