Is Your HP Printer Suddenly Going Crazy? If So, This May Be Why

Is Your Hewlett Packard printer publicly accessible? Because it would appear that over 86,000 of them are, at least on Google anyway.

If you go with the search query shown below – click here to do it now – then you’ll see them all show up.


Interestingly this only seems to work with Google and none of the other search ‘giants’ though I don’t think its necessarily fair to put the blame at the big G’s feet – the IT guy should probably take the heat (or pictures of peoples’s backsides, epic novels or whatever else may get sent to their printer!)  in this case.

At the end of the day this doesn’t sound too bad in the grand scheme of hacks but there are some interesting printers there that have been made public, including some universities. All it would take is one disgruntled student or prankster to write a script and they could find themselves employing someone to change their paper tray all day!

So, if you do have a networked printer then make sure you place it behind a firewall. Also, though it is way too obvious, make sure your printer is password protected to give you at least some protection – going through that list of printers reveals a few that can be accessed with no effort at all and they don’t just belong to individuals either!

And, as Port300 say,

PS: There are security concerns here, as many printer models have known exploits which can be used as an entry point to a private network.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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