Samsung printer hack could let the wrong ones in

Typically, when we think of hacks, our minds conjure images of compromised security systems, personal computers or server farms, but printers? According to Neil Smith, a researcher from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, unauthorized access to those devices could be a very real threat -- if you happen to own a Samsung model. Discovered and submitted to the agency this past Monday, the exploit unearthed by Smith takes advantage of an "SNMP backdoor" : an internet protocol that allows for remote network administrative control without authentication. The vulnerability -- which would give hackers access to data sent to the printer, as well as control over it (think: ceaseless printing!) -- affects most units released before November of this year. For its part, Samsung's promised a patch will be forthcoming. But, in the meantime, if you want to avoid exposing any personal data or the possibility of a seemingly possessed printer, it's best you steer clear of rogue WiFi connections.

Update: CNET has published a statement from Samsung outlining the update schedule for affected printers. Firmware that fixes the issue will be available for all "current" models by November 30th, and for "all other models" by the end of the year. The company also recommends disabling SNMPv1.2 or switching to SNMPv3 mode until the updates are released.