Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
1/27/2011
11:34 AM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

The Dark Side Of Remote Printing?

Having a printer that can reach out to the Web means having a printer that a hacker can reach out to. Should SMBs lose sleep over this?

Having a printer that can reach out to the Web means having a printer that a hacker can reach out to. Should SMBs lose sleep over this?There are reports of hackers using the new remote printing facilities like ePrint to penetrate office LANS. They do three different things.

First, they get access to the printer and use it to penetrate the office network, looking for passwords and files.

The second is that hackers can take control over the printers, pool their resources, and create storage networks. (This would appear to constitute a nuisance rather than a danger.)

Thirdly, multi-function printers can be rigged to purloin images of any documents that were left on the scanner, taking advantage of their scanner's remote control feature.

Surely the answer to the third problem is implement any available security on the printer, and don't leave documents on the scanner bed.

The answer for the first two is a little iffier. Remote printing is new technology and the kinks have not been ironed out yet, and this apparently includes the security. We may have to hearken back to the early days of PC security, when the first and best advice was to turn off the machines when not in use.

With the ePrint machine I have tried, an HP Officejet Pro 8500A, the main security measure seemed to be the use of a randomized e-mail address to suppress incoming spam. And after two months I can say that no spam has arrived.

Also, it continues to work fine with Hotmail, but not at all with Microsoft Outlook 2007, despite official compatibility.

So I assume hackers would have an equal amount of trouble.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.