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05/12/2018

A Hacker Forced 50,000 Printers To Spread PewDiePie Propaganda -- And The Problem Is Much Bigger Than You Know

Sometimes a bit of vandalism can highlight potentially nasty problems, says Forbes.

Ask TheHackerGiraffe, the online pseudonym of an unknown individual who hacked 50,000 printers over the weekend. He or she used their power to spread a message in support of PewDiePie, the YouTube celebrity, encouraging people to start watching him so he could keep his crown as controller of the channel with the most subscriptions on Google's platform. TheHackerGiraffe didn’t need to expend much effort to break into all those printers. All that was required was access to a search engine known as Shodan and some basic hacker skills. The hacker simply chose the first 50,000 results then searched on Google for a tool to help him print en masse. That came in the form of the Printer Exploitation Toolkit, or PRET. With a short piece of code, so brief it could fit into a tweet, the command to send the print jobs was sent out.

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