updated 11:15 am EST, Fri December 23, 2011
HP updates drivers to make printers more secure
HP has posted a new driver update for its web-connected and networked LaserJet printers in an attempt to plug a malware explot. The was brought on after findings from Columbia University were revealed late in November. While no customers have reported attacks, HP claimed, the firmware upgrade would prevent them from happening in the first place.
HP still recommends common-sense tactics to lock down printers, such as securing putting them behind firewalls and disabling remote firmware uploads on exposed printers. Updating the drivers should make the printers secure against other currently known attacks as well.
The Computer Science Department of Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science research team found that networked printers are open to hacker attacks that can send rogue instructions. They could waste ink and paper, although fears of setting them on fire were unfounded as the printers have a trip that would cut them off before they got too hot.