Hacker hijacks printers worldwide to promote popular YouTube channel

Pierluigi Paganini December 03, 2018

The TheHackerGiraffe used the Printer Exploitation Toolkit (PRET) to hijack +50k vulnerable printers to Promote PewDiePie YouTube Channel.

An anonymous hacker hijacked over 50,000 internet-connected printers worldwide to print out messages promoting the subscription to the PewDiePie YouTube channel. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, is a popular Swedish Youtuber, comedian, and video game commentator, formerly best known for his Let’s Play commentaries and now mostly known for his comedy and vlogs.

This is the last act of disputed for the “most-subscribed Youtube channel” crown between T-Series and PewDiePie.

The PewDiePie has more than 73 million YouTube subscribers.

Now a hacker with the Twitter account TheHackerGiraffe decided to promote his favourite YouTube channel in his way, he hacked tens of thousands of printers exposed online.

hacked printers

The hacker scanned the Internet for printers with port 9100 open using Shodan and hacked them publishing a message that invited the victims to unsubscribe from T-Series channel and subscribe to PewDiePie instead.

“PewDiePie is in trouble, and he needs your help to defeat T-Series!”

“PewDiePie, the currently most subscribed to channel on YouTube, is at stake of losing his position as the number one position by an Indian company called T-Series that simply uploads videos of Bollywood trailers and campaigns,”

The TheHackerGiraffe used the Printer Exploitation Toolkit (PRET) to compromise vulnerable printers. The PRET is a legitimate developed by researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany for testing purposes.

The case is very singular and raises the discussion about the importance of properly secure Internet-connected devices.
In this case, attackers simply printed out a message but vulnerable printers exposed online could be the entry points for attackers that with further lateral movements can compromise an entire network and access sensitive information.
printers hijacking

Don’t forget that every device in your organization that is exposed online enlarges your attack surface.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – vulnerable printers, hacking)

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