Security Experts:

Millions of Devices Affected by Vulnerability in HP, Samsung, Xerox Printer Drivers

A printer driver shipped to millions of computers since 2005 is affected by a vulnerability that can be exploited for privilege escalation, according to endpoint security company SentinelOne.

The vulnerability was initially discovered earlier this year in a driver shipped with HP printers, but a closer analysis revealed that the impacted component has also been delivered with Samsung and Xerox devices. The problematic driver was developed based on open source driver samples made available by Microsoft, but the vulnerability does not appear to exist in the original sample.

HP printer driver vulnerability HP has listed more than 380 HP and Samsung printer models affected by the flaw — HP acquired Samsung’s printer business in 2017. Xerox has identified a dozen printer models affected by the vulnerability.

HP and Xerox have released patches for the vulnerability, and consumers and enterprises have been advised to install them.

The security hole is tracked as CVE-2021-3438 and it has been assigned a high severity rating (CVSS score of 8.8).

According to SentinelOne, the vulnerability allows an attacker who has low privileges on the targeted computer to escalate permissions to SYSTEM and execute code, which the company says can be useful for bypassing security products, as well as other purposes.

“Successfully exploiting a driver vulnerability might allow attackers to potentially install programs, view, change, encrypt or delete data, or create new accounts with full user rights,” SentinelOne said. “Weaponizing this vulnerability might require chaining other bugs as we didn’t find a way to weaponize it by itself given the time invested.”

The company said it had not seen any evidence to suggest that the vulnerability has been exploited in the wild, but noted that “with millions of printer models currently vulnerable, it is inevitable that if attackers weaponize this vulnerability they will seek out those that have not taken the appropriate action.”

SentinelOne has published a blog post with technical information about the vulnerability.

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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.