It's difficult getting into the mind of a cybercriminal, you never know how they're going to attack. Lately, they seem to be favoring phishing emails used to steal your credentials and ransomware that encrypts your critical files.
Sometimes they get super creative so people don't see it coming. That's exactly what's happening now. Hackers have found a way to crash your printer, but you have the power to stop them.
Is your printer secure?
Security researchers at Trustwave say hackers have a new way to crash printers manufactured and sold by Brother. A vulnerability allows a cybercriminal to launch a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on impacted printers. A single malformed HTTP POST request could allow the attack to be carried out.
The researchers said, "The attacker will receive a 500 error code in response, the web server is rendered inaccessible and all printing will cease to function. This vulnerability appears to affect all Brother printers with the Debut web front-end."
However, this isn't limited to one brand. Many printers are vulnerable to these types of attacks if you don't keep its firmware updated.
How to keep hackers from crashing your printer
Printer manufacturers will update drivers from time-to-time. This is done mainly to fix reoccurring problems or add features to the printer.
But these firmware updates are critical to keeping your device secure. Many updates contain patches to vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of.
You need to make sure that your software/firmware is current so you don't miss out on any of these updates. Some devices will update its software automatically, but many don't.
To make sure that your software is up to date, follow these steps:
1. Confirm the printer model
You should be able to find the model number on the printer itself. If not, you can find it on the computer it's connected to. Go to Control Panel >> Hardware and Sound >> Devices and Printers. Then click on Customize your printer and a window will open showing the model number.
2. Go to the manufacturer's website
Here you should find a Support and Drivers section. Select the download drivers and software button. Then type the name and model number of your printer in the search bar. Select the operating system and version that you're using to get the current driver. Click download under the Driver heading.
Having up-to-date software will help keep hackers from crashing your printer. Don't forget to share this article with family and friends so they know how to stay protected. They'll be happy that you did.
Your printer isn't the only device hackers are after, they're also targeting your router
Your router, that little device you connect your devices to for internet access, is an essential component in every connected household, but we sometimes take it for granted. Did you know that this lack of interaction with your router could be a big security issue?