HP announces "the world's most secure printers" and promises security upgrades to older machines

Number: IRCNE2015092635
Date: 2015/09/23
According to “itpro”, HP today announced new hardware and software designed to battle one of the biggest potential security holes in any IT network, the printer.
"Hackers target the weakest area of the network," said Tuan Tran, vice president and general manager of HP's LaserJet division, at the launch event in Barcelona.
"They don't go through the most obvious vector of attack, the front door [such as well-protected servers and PCs], they go for the back door."
Up until now, Tran claims, the back door has been the likes of the heating and ventilation system or point-of-sale devices, with Target the highest-profile victim of the latter when 40 million customers had sensitive data such as credit card details hacked.
But Tran insists the same applies to printers - particularly those in enterprises, which increasingly tend to be hooked up to corporate networks and accessible via the cloud.
HP's answer is a trio of hardware and software features built into its new M500 series printers, with two of the three features being rolled out to HP's older printers via firmware updates.
The one security feature that won't be available to older machines is HP Sure Start, which depends on a "golden" BIOS that's separate to the printer's active BIOS.
The second new line of defence is whitelisting, which should ensure that only "good" firmware can be loaded and executed on the printer. If it detects non-HP firmware it shuts down and notifies the network manager.
Run-time intrusion detection rounds off the features, with constant monitoring of in-device memory that checks for attacks.

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