Can printers be hacked? All You Need to Know

Printer hacking

Most of us are aware of the benefits of having anti-malware or even antivirus software on our computers and phones. That’s because this software can provide protection against potential attacks. Also, the thought that our phones and computers are the only devices more susceptible to cyber-attacks fuels the need to protect them, but we often overlook the security of our printers. A trained Solutions Analyst from Century Business Products can assist in safeguarding your printer security.

What about printers? Can they be hacked? The answer to the questions is a resounding, YES!

Can Printers be Hacked?

Printer vulnerabilities exist in this age of technology. However, most businesses often overlook the fact that printers can be hacked.  The Stackoverflow hack in 2017 and the Pewdiepie hack shed more light on the vulnerabilities of printers by exposing how the general public has been ignorant of protecting printers. Based on these two incidents, it is possible that your printers can be hacked if not secured.

How can Copiers or Printers get Hacked?

Printers and copiers are no different than the computers in your office. Normally there is some type of security software that will patch holes when vulnerabilities present themselves. If hackers get through your company’s firewall, then the next step is to find a way into the server where all of your company’s information is stored. Accessing the company’s server through the printing devices in your office can be easy depending on the age of machines in place and how often the firmware is updated on the machines. Firmware updates are available to most copiers and printers, but it is a manual process normally performed by the IT department.

Just like your computer, there are passwords allowing remote access for copiers or printers remotely, it is a good idea to change the generic password when sent from the manufacturer. Changing the password significantly reduces another way for hackers to enter your network through your copier or printer.

Why are Printers Hacked?

Printers are hacked for multiple reasons. It’s EASY! Often, hackers begin by identifying various gaps in your printer and take advantage of them. The following are some of the reasons for hacking your printer:

  • Data theft: Data is often valuable for any organization. That said, hackers will hack into your printer in order to steal data and then sell it. Alternatively, the data stolen can be used to carry out a ransomware attack.
  • Malicious Device malfunctioning: Some “bad actors” will hack your printers just to wreak havoc. Once hacked, these criminals can command your printer to print weird files randomly. This can result in significant losses for your business or organization. 
  • Mining Cryptocurrencies: Hackers can bypass the security system in your printer just to mine cryptocurrencies.


Why Printer Security is Important

In order to prevent your data from being used for blackmail or corporate espionage, make sure the security measures are up to date on your printing devices, this will help prevent security breaches. The security measure implemented by your IT department will put you in control of your printers and provide another layer of security from any vulnerabilities for unwanted Cyber-attackers.

Check to see how old your copiers or printers are, this may be a good time to update to new technology. Many manufacturers are providing automated technology on the copiers and printers that run diagnostics checking for vulnerabilities when a device is being accessed. This technology provides another layer of security for your company with very little IT intervention.

How can partnering with a managed print services company help?

To learn more about the new technology that is providing more security in the workplace, contact Century Business Products at 800-529-1950 or click the contact us link. We are “Powering Business Technology”.