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Security Flaws Leave Networked Printers Open To Attack
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:14:03 -0600 (CST)
By Mathew J. Schwartz
January 23, 2013
Printers that use popular print server software sold by Hewlett-Packard are
vulnerable to attacks that can bypass built-in biometric defenses, recover
previously printed documents and crash all vulnerable machines attached to a
That warning comes from viaForensics researcher Sebastian Guerrero, who said he
identified the security problems in HP's JetDirect software while testing
printers in his spare time.
JetDirect software is used in internal, external and embedded print servers
sold by numerous printer manufacturers -- everyone from Canon and Lexmark to
Samsung and Xerox. The software handles any printing request made via a
network, in part by adding additional information, which then gets parsed by a
printer. This additional information is in the form of tags such as UEL
(universal exit language), which notes the beginning and end of data streams;
PJL (printer job language), to tell the printer what to do; and PCL (printer
control language), which formats pages.
But these HP printer language command tags can also be used by attackers to
evade security controls built into the devices -- such as fingerprint or smart
card checks -- as well as to knock the machines offline, reprint previously
printed documents or even brick the device.
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- Security Flaws Leave Networked Printers Open To Attack InfoSec News (Jan 24)