Risk

8/31/2018
10:40 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

How Hackers Hit Printers

New Booz Allen Hamilton report advises companies to include printers in their overall security strategy.

Networked printers increasingly are becoming targets of hackers as these devices often aren't secured by enterprises.

A new study cited by Booz Allen Hamilton found that of 61% of survey respondents who reported a data loss incident in 2016, at least 50% had at least one such incident linked to a printer. The 2017 survey by Quocirca included 200 companies with more than 1,000 employees.

The security incidents included digitally intercepted print jobs (50%), loss of data from printer hard disks (48%), mailing of documents via multifunction printers to external sources (44%), and printers getting hacked to gain network access (18%).

"Today's office printers are full-functional computers that have a printer, scanner, photocopier, and a fax machine, as well as an email platform with local storage, wireless networking, and an operating system," says Nate Beach-Westmoreland, head of strategic threat intelligence for Booz Allen and author of the printer portion of the firm's new Cyber4Sight report. "Security pros need to prioritize network printers as such."

Some of the most common types of cyberattacks on printers include disabling printers for ransom and abusing insecure printers for vandalism or vigilantism.

Brian Minick, Booz Allen's vice president of cybersecurity, says state-linked criminals believed to be out of North Korea have regularly targeted printers in their cyberattacks on banks. They disabled printers used to confirm SWIFT network transfers, for example, in the attacks on City Union Bank in India and the Bank of Bangladesh.

"After gaining access to a network from some other entry point, bad threat actors often disable printers as a distraction or way to cover their tracks during a broader attack that makes bank transfers to the criminal's bank account," Minick explains. 

Printer giant HP recently launched a bug bounty program with Bugcrowd where it will pay up to $10,000 per vulnerability found in its enterprise printers, a move that underscores how these devices are becoming targets.

"We agree that, like the PC, printers have become incredibly powerful devices with increased storage and processing power," says Shivaun Albright, chief technologist of print security for HP. "We haven't reached the awareness-level, though, to secure print devices and implement all the good security practices that are employed to protect PCs and other important nodes in the network."

There's a gap today in discussions between decision makers and those implementing the technology, she says, as well as mismanagement in the deployment of printers. Companies leave critical ports and settings open, making it easy for attackers to remotely access the device. Albright recommends that customers work with their channel partner to leverage a managed print-services program.  

Booz Allen’s Minick and Beach-Westmoreland say printer vendors need to respond to vulnerabilities the way Microsoft did when it set up Patch Tuesday for Windows systems, offering regular security updates. 

Meanwhile, enterprises need to get visibility into their printer security, they say, and build continuous network monitoring into their environments in order to monitor printers the same way they do with network firewalls, switches, routers, and servers.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
jenshadus
50%
50%
jenshadus,
User Rank: Strategist
9/6/2018 | 12:06:54 PM
Re: No surprise here
I don't remember that incident.  But I do remember that part of our pentest on banks included printers and fax machines.  This was back in the 90's.  Have we forgotten so much?
REISEN1955
100%
0%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2018 | 8:57:18 AM
No surprise here
I remember ages ago when a simple Google search string was posted that opened up the internal web page built into HP OfficeJet printers.  Almost ALL of them around the world!!!   It was that bad and showed the IP address assigned to each OfficeJet.  Incredible which, to a hacker, is an invite - here we have an internal address.  Wonderful and a web page too.  I don't see that anymore but scant attention is always given to these odd internal endpoints and their web page data. 
Valentine's Emails Laced with Gandcrab Ransomware
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/14/2019
High Stress Levels Impacting CISOs Physically, Mentally
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  2/14/2019
Mozilla, Internet Society and Others Pressure Retailers to Demand Secure IoT Products
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  2/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-8939
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-19
data/interfaces/default/history.html in Tautulli 2.1.26 has XSS via a crafted Plex username that is mishandled when constructing the History page.
CVE-2019-8935
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-19
Collabtive 3.1 allows XSS via the manageuser.php?action=profile id parameter.
CVE-2019-3812
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-19
QEMU, through version 2.10 and through version 3.1.0, is vulnerable to an out-of-bounds read of up to 128 bytes in the hw/i2c/i2c-ddc.c:i2c_ddc() function. A local attacker with permission to execute i2c commands could exploit this to read stack memory of the qemu process on the host.
CVE-2019-8933
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-19
In DedeCMS 5.7SP2, attackers can upload a .php file to the uploads/ directory (without being blocked by the Web Application Firewall), and then execute this file, via this sequence of steps: visiting the management page, clicking on the template, clicking on Default Template Management, clicking on ...
CVE-2019-7629
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-18
Stack-based buffer overflow in the strip_vt102_codes function in TinTin++ 2.01.6 and WinTin++ 2.01.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by sending a long message to the client.