PRINTERS ARE ONCE again being dragged into a fight for YouTube channel subscribers, a chain of events Johannes Gutenberg probably didn't foresee when putting the final touches to the printing press back in 1439.
For the second time this year, thousands of printers have been hacked in order to print messages in support of YouTube's most popular vlogger, PewDiePie, who is in danger of being overtaken by T-Series. If that sentence just made you feel exceptionally old, then yeah, join the club.
One hacker claimed that around 50,000 printers have been forced to waste ink on spreading the word, although there's also a message about security in the mix too.
"I've been trying to show that 'hacking' isn't a game or toy, it can have serious real-life consequences," one hacker told the BBC anonymously.
"We really want people to pay attention to this because causing physical damage is very much a possibility," he added, highlighting that printer firmware isn't designed to be written to constantly. "If you keep the loop on enough, the chip will fry and the printer will no longer function."
Possessed printers will spit out a short message reading: "PewDiePie is in trouble and he needs your help to defeat T-Series!" The tedious one-upmanship is then outlined before a ‘Jerry's final thoughts' style closing message on the importance of printer security: "Seriously. Fix your printer. It can be abused!"
If you don't want your printer to become part of an internet culture war, make sure you keep your firmware up to date and apply security patches as they come. If your printer is of the older variety that was manufactured before PewDiePie was a glint in the internet's eye, then you probably want to just take your printer offline.
Or, y'know, buy a new one for the handful of times a year you want to actually print something. µ
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