Racist hack forces thousands of printers to spew nasty flyers

Infamous black hat and Internet troll Andrew Auernheimer is up to his usual tricks, this time exploiting thousands of unsecure internet-connected printers and forcing them to spew out racist propaganda flyers.

He discovered that printers with port 9100 exposed can print anything you want, after you add a small postscript file to the port.

weev-script-printers

After adding the script, all Auernheimer needed to do was find a suitable image – in this case, an anti-semitic flyer. (Note: While ReadWrite takes device and data security seriously as a topic, it certainly does NOT endorse this kind of content. Please see Auernheimer’s original blog post if you’d like.)

A few hours later, Auernheimer started to see the effects of his work. University students were hitting Twitter, Reddit, and other social media sites to complain about the printed flyers, while others scoured the Internet for the source of the controversy. Universities weren’t the only victims to the exploit, as some offices were also hit with the racist flyers.

Auernheimer, who posts on white supremacist sites as well, said that the flyer had to be black and white unicode to ensure that all printers accepted it. Any bitmap images or color might have caused issues, especially with college printers that might have rules for printing.

Racist hack prompts police response

Auernheimer defends his right to print the racist flyers, claiming that all he did was communicate with internet-connected printers. Some university students and local newspapers have called it a hate crime, and police are investigating in at least one case.

For those that don’t know, Auernheimer is not stranger to stirring the pot. Along with Goatse Security, he exposed a flaw in AT&T’s security that allowed 114,000 iPad email addresses to be exposed. He has also attacked Planned Parenthood, and exposed the names of government officials on Ashley Madison and FriendFinder.

While most will not agree with Auernheimer’s political and social views, he has once again shown that you can stir up thousands of people with only a few lines of code.

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