If you thought getting a computer virus was bad, take a look at what you can do with a remote exploit to an HP printer. I think that I'm going to keep my 5si unplugged, until I need to print something. Yikes!
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The part about setting a printer on fire (a la the HCF instruction) is speculation - in HP's case at least there's the thermal breaker that prevents the paper from igniting, and I don't believe any other printer manufacturer would exclude this simple safety device (a paper burn from a stuck printer drum is easy to imagine), but the rest of the demonstration doesn't give much to worry about - a hacked printer can't do anywhere near as much damage as a hacked router, for example.
It's part programming against hardware, adjust for minimum smoke.
@W3bbo: There are all kinds of situations where a hacked printer could do more harm than a hacked router. For example, think of a printer at a hospital that prints medication orders, or at a law office that could forward printed documents. I suppose that you could do all that stuff from the a router or a switch, but routers are designed with security in mind, printers not so much.
Perhaps the worst things that will come from this will be a deluge of sophomoric pranks, randomly inserted genitals, naughty words, advertising, etc.
All the places I've been lately seem to know security. The telnet consoles to the HP LaserJets all have their default password changed, so I can't have fun by changing the Out of Paper message to "Feed me kittens", oh well.
Ekkk, good thing mine is only inkJet. When I buy a printer next time, I will make sure the firmware update can be disabled.
Fire seems unlikely, HP are very aware of potential heat issues (Internally they don't even allow their Laptops to be called Laptops)
Note to self...keep W3bbo out of network....*watches firewall*
Our Canon printers all run windows xp and have not been updated for ages.
So our documents are safe.