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HP Launches Bug Bounty Program for Printers

HP announced on Tuesday the launch of a bug bounty program for printers. The company is prepared to pay out up to $10,000 for serious vulnerabilities found in its products.

The initiative, which HP calls the industry’s first printer bug bounty program, was launched in partnership with crowdsourced security platform Bugcrowd.HP launches printer bug bounty program

The program is private, which means not anyone can participate. Researchers invited by HP have been instructed to focus on firmware-level vulnerabilities, including remote code execution, cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs.

The rewards range between $500 and $10,000 per flaw, but HP is not disclosing the specific payouts for each type of issue. Researchers can also earn a reward if they report a vulnerability previously discovered by HP itself – the company describes this as a “good faith payment.”

The bug bounty program currently covers HP LaserJet Enterprise printers and MFPs (A3 and A4), as well as the HP PageWide Enterprise printers and MFPs (A3 and A4).

HP told SecurityWeek that currently it’s engaged with 34 researchers. The company says the program covers only endpoint devices – printer-related web domains are out of scope – with a focus on print firmware.

The company plans on expanding the program to its PC line soon, but it currently focuses on printers due to concerns that the technological advancements in this area make these types of devices an attractive target for malicious actors. HP noted that printers can not only provide access to the network that houses them, but they can also expose confidential documents.

“As we navigate an increasingly complex world of cyber threats, it’s paramount that industry leaders leverage every resource possible to deliver trusted, resilient security from the firmware up,” said Shivaun Albright, HP's Chief Technologist of Print Security. “HP is committed to engineering the most secure printers in the world.”

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.