Printers under attack: 100 thousand more hit by PewDiePie fans

Hack attacks in support of PewDiePie continue. In this case, 100 thousand printers have been tampered with, forced to print flyers for the youtuber

YouTuber PewDiePie has 77.3 million subscribers on his YT channel and maybe soon will have even more, thanks to a curious worldwide hacker attack against hundreds of thousands of printers. That's right, because if they're connected to the Internet via a router, even printers can be hacked.

But what is it, exactly? It's the sequel, on an even bigger scale, to the attack already launched last month against 50,000 printers "forced" by hackers to print advertising flyers promoting the channel of Felix Kjellberg, the Swedish comedian and video game commentator that everyone knows as PewDiePie. It seems that the stated goal of the hackers is to keep PewDiePie at the top of the list of the youtubers with the most followers. Recently, in fact, the supremacy of the Swedish videomaker is endangered by an Indian production company, which is rapidly catching up with him.

Hundreds of thousands of printers under attack

This time, according to the authors of the gesture, the affected printers are more than 250 thousand. To reach them, hackers have scanned and tried to force about 2 million IP addresses. Also in this attack the message sent to the printers was an invitation to subscribe to the channel of the Swedish YouTuber, who is rivaling T-Series (an Indian film company that also produces TV series and has 75 million subscribers) for the first place on YouTube.

Target Cybersecurity

In addition to the endorsement towards PewDiePie, however, behind this hacker attack with no harmful consequences for anyone is also the desire to raise awareness among Internet users about how easy it is for a fairly experienced hacker to break into our network and literally take over our devices. One of the most recent messages sent to printers, for example, includes a list of points and "Things you should know" to increase the security of your network such as handling TCP port 631, normally used by wireless printers to communicate with the PC they are connected to.

How Printer Attacks Happen

One of the many tools hackers have at their disposal to breach our printers is the well-known Printer Exploitation Toolkit, which not only allows them to access the printer, but also the rest of our computer including files saved on the hard drive. The printer, therefore, becomes a gateway to our personal data. One of the ways to protect against this risk is not to connect the printer to the Internet, but only to the local network managed by a well configured router that is well protected from external attacks. Also the software and firmware of the printer must be kept up-to-date to avoid risks of attack: in August this year HP released a security patch to update dozens of inkjet printer models found vulnerable to two different types of remote attacks.