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Vulnerability in Samsung and Dell network printers

30 November 2012

Neil Smith, an IT security expert, found a hidden embedded program in Samsung printers that makes it possible to remotely connect to them, change settings and manage printing. This is a real backdoor created by the manufacturer for the convenience of technical support experts.

Apparently, the company never disclosed the existence of such functionality. The same kind of program was found in Dell printers, which can be attributed to their mutual manufacturing contracts.

This backdoor uses a modified version of the SNMP protocol that is not visible in the list of connections and continues to work even if the user disables SNMP in the printer settings.

Since the information has been made public, emergence of working exploits for this vulnerability is just a matter of time. Obviously, these exploits will not try to intercept documents being printed, but will aim to execute arbitrary unauthorized code with administrator rights in an external network. Samsung believes that it will be able to release a patch before hackers find a way to create an exploit.