Researchers have found a new type of DDoS attack targeting internet-linked printers. The printers that are not updated or regularly configured are vulnerable to the attack. The attack is known as Printjack.

Many printers are publicly accessible, which leaves them vulnerable for attackers to end malicious data remotely.

The printers don’t have a mechanism to scan the incoming data that may lead to data being exploited remotely.

Researchers underscored that many printers aren’t built to meet the cybersecurity and data privacy requirements for IoT devices.

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The security gap in printers makes them an ideal target for new attacks like recruiting the printers in DDoS swarms, imposing a paper DoS state, and performing privacy breaches.

The printers that are successfully attacked— collectively called Printjack— have a high possibility of being unresponsive, consuming more power, and generating more heat as their overall performance deteriorates with time.

More details about Printjack attacks

In the first type of Printjack attack, threat actors exploit a known RCE vulnerability (CVE-2014-3741) to turn printers into an army of botnets for launching DDoS attacks.

The second attack is a ‘paper DoS attack’ and can be achieved by sending repeated printing jobs until the victim runs out of paper. As a result, this can lead to service downtime.

The third type of attack is the most severe of all Printjack attacks as there’s the potential to carry out MitM attacks and eavesdrop on the printed material.