A few days earlier, a bored hacker called by the name ‘TheHackerGiraffe’ achieved widespread infamy for exploiting vulnerabilities in security protocols for internet-connected devices. He managed to hack into over 50,000 exposed printers as a part of the “Save PewDiePie” campaign. At a time PewDiePie — the world’s most notable ‘YouTube channel’ with over 19 Bln viewers over just 5 years — is about to be upstaged by Indian music production channel named ’T-series’, the outcomes learned from this hack may have major implications on the far side of the globe of casual hacking and gamer culture.
Via a Twitter thread, ‘TheHackerGiraffe’ explained that while observing further ways to support ‘PewDiePie’ youtube channel [without the streamer’s information or permission], he set to hold out a guerilla printing ‘campaign‘ employing a vulnerable internet-connected printers. What happened next may doubtless hold a important significance for both web user habits and for cryptocurrency holders and investors.
In line with the ‘TheHackerGiraffe’, he set to look for vulnerable printers on Shodan, a search engine engineered specifically to search out internet-connected devices. This search, to his fun, turned up 800,000 results. Taking a sample of 50,000 printers from the list running on particular ports, what he did next was to find a tool that may permit him to gain access with printers thereon port and print. He found one such tool known as PRET, and within the thread, he explained his shock at discovering what PRET would permit him do.
“PRET had the scariest of options and features. Ability to access files, harm the printer, access the inner network; things that can cause harm at much higher levels. Thus I had to try and do this, to atleast facilitate and help several organisations along with other people who can further defend themselves.”
The result was that within less than half- hour of comparatively low-level hacking, ‘TheHackerGiraffe’ was ready to hijack 50,000 printers and use them to print a message in support of PewDiePie.
Printing Your Digital Wallet Keys
The major takeaway from the recent incidents from a cryptocurrency security viewpoint is that printing bitcoin wallet recovery seeds from a networked printer is also an implausibly risky activity. Though not the case during this specific incident, the method of hacking an internet-connected printer may involve stealing files held on the printer’s internal memory, which can embody past or unfinished printing jobs. On actual grounds, this might give a hacker access to a user’s bitcoin digital wallet if the recovery seed print file is in the device’s memory.
It ‘additionally‘ reinforces the importance of excellent security practices once handling digital copies of paper wallets. Such copies ought to ideally not be saved on networked devices such as printers, mobile phones, and computers as a doubtless exposure to the hackers. Within the event that paper wallets are printed, this could ideally be done on a non-networked printer that ideally has never been connected to a network antecedently.