Security Experts:

Samsung Printers Vulnerable to Attack Due to Hardcoded Admin Access

Printers manufactured by Samsung, and sold via Dell or direct channels, are vulnerable to attack thanks to a hard-coded administrator account in the device’s firmware. The company says that devices made after Oct. 31 are not vulnerable, but it will take time before a patch tool is released.

The issue centers on a hardcoded SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) community string, which allows full read-write abilities. The string is included with every Samsung printer made before Oct. 31 of this year, according to Samsung. Because the SNMP string remains active, even if it is disabled via the customer through the admin interface, a remote attacker can take control of the device.

“A remote, unauthenticated attacker could access an affected device with administrative privileges. Secondary impacts include: the ability to make changes to the device configuration, access to sensitive information (e.g., device and network information, credentials, and information passed to the printer), and the ability to leverage further attacks through arbitrary code execution,” a CERT warning explains.

A patch is in the works, and as mentioned, Samsung has since stopped using the hard-coded string.

In the meantime, organizations with Dell printers (manufactured by Samsung) that are concerned can restrict access to printers from untrusted hosts and networks, or block port 1118/udp on their network as a short-term mitigation.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.