"A hacker infiltrated Duke’s online, campus-wide printing system Sunday, which resulted in the printers feeding out multiple copies of a cheeky message when students attempted to use select printers in Perkins Library, said Circulation Desk Assistant Kristin Brunn, a sophomore. Students swiped their DukeCards and selected their printing jobs, causing “thousands of copies of the papers” to print out, Brunn said. The message offered advice to the Duke authorities responsible for ePrint.
“Perhaps you dumb-asses should password protect a printer you directly connect to the Internet,” the message read, signed, “—Bored university student in Texas :)~.”
A postscript advised a shuffling of Duke’s information technology staff.
“P.S. Maybe you should fire your IT department,” the message concluded.
The Office of Information Technology said the hacking incident was contained, and staff members are taking measures to prevent future incidents.
well, aside from the nuisance and all the time lost explaining everything there are some other things a more active hacker could have done if he wanted to be more than just a bored joke
* print a book of thousand pages all over again - untill the toner is empty (if you have only one printer connected the loss if a few thousand pages and toner but if you have a network of internetconnected printers the cost will be a few thousand bucks plus all the administrative and technical working hours to replace the printers and all the workers who are angry that they can't print anymore and all the working hours lost)
* change the passwords on all the printers - which will block access and will make a human direct administrative access necessary - costing x numbers of hours of administrative and technical work - which is not free
* take possession of documents (maybe confidential) in the cache of the printer - maybe sending them around internally (and if they are big you can resend them a 100 times so they will block mailboxes and if you are lucky the antivirus (blocking all mailtraffic because the antivirus is overwhelmed)) imagine if it is an internal evaluation of some workers sent all over the office....
* changing printer routes and setting so documents are printed ad random in different colours, at different locations, in the wrong format and so on (eventually putting a password on it so a simple user can't change it). Before they have understood what happened several working hours have passed.
modern printers connected to the internet without protection ? you are mad
didn't you hear about VPN's and access management ?