Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:24

SNMP sloppiness sees Samsung printers security slip


CERT has warned of a vulnerability that opens some Samsung and Dell printers to remote attack.

According to a CERT vulnerability note, Samsung's networked printers along with certain Dell printers manufactured by Samsung "contain a hardcoded account that could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected device."

This is not good.

Even if SNMP is disabled, this "backdoor administrator account" is still active and could be used by an attacker to access the printer.

From there, he or she may be able to change the printer's configuration, access information including credentials and information sent to the printer, and potentially run undesirable code in the printer.

Models released after October 31, 2012 are not affected, but the company won't be releasing a patch until "later this year" (which translates to "in the next few weeks").

In the meantime, a partial defence might be to block SNMP traffic at the firewall, but that would not stop an inside attack.

A list of models affected by this vulnerability was not provided, so until those details are provided the cautious approach would be to assume it applies to all network-capable printers with SNMP support that were released by Samsung or Dell prior to this month.

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.





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