Brother Printers Exposed Online to Hackers, Says Security Researcher

Bleeping Computer reports that a  security researcher has found that nearly 700 Brother International printers were shipped with a blank admin password, which leaves them exposed once online, allowing access to critical printer functions, potentially enabling hackers to change settings and the password, so that, for instance, the printer could be rendered unusable.

The security flaw is said to have been discovered by Ankit Anubhav, principal researcher at NewSky Security. According to Anubhav, hackers could access the printers’ administration panel over the Internet.

Anubhav provided Bleeping Computer with a list of the exposed printers. Some of the exposed models include the Brother DCP-9020CDW, MFC-9340CDW, MFC-L2700DW, or MFC-J2510.

The Brother printers are said to have been shipped without an administrative password; Internet printers are discoverable via Internet of Things search engines such as Shodan or Censys. Without requiring entering of a password, hackers would have access to administrative settings. They might also be able to download malicious firmware, or “spy-ware” to the printer.  With spyware, the printer could be hacked to send copies of printed documents to the hacker’s server, for example.

Organizations with installed Brother printers connected to the Internet should verify online that if the printer opens the administration panel with a blank password, they should be sure to set a custom password to prevent unauthorized access to the device.

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