Samsung printers contain hardcoded backdoor account, US-CERT warns

Hardcoded administrative account in Samsung printers poses security risks

Printers manufactured by Samsung have a backdoor administrator account hard coded in their firmware that could enable attackers to change their configuration, read their network information or stored credentials and access sensitive information passed to them by users.

The hardcoded account does not require authentication and can be accessed over the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) interface of the affected printers, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) said Monday in a security advisory.

SNMP is an Internet protocol commonly used to monitor and read statistics from network-attached devices.

The SNMP account found in Samsung printers has full read and write permissions and remains accessible even if SNMP is disabled using the printer's management utility, US-CERT said.

"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," the organization said.

It's not just Samsung-branded printers that contain the administrative account, but also some Dell-branded printers manufactured by Samsung.

US-CERT did not provide a list with the exact printer models affected by the issue, but said that, according to Samsung, models released after Oct. 31, 2012, are not vulnerable.

"Samsung has also indicated that they will be releasing a patch tool later this year to address vulnerable devices," US-CERT said.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

US-CERT recommended that users follow security best practices and restrict access to the printers. Allowing access to their SNMP interfaces only from trusted hosts or network segments will limit the ability of attackers to use the hardcoded credentials, the organization said.

This is not the first time when serious vulnerabilities are found in printers. Last year, two Columbia University researchers discovered a weakness in the remote firmware update feature of HP LaserJet printers that could have allowed attackers to take complete control of the devices.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags peripheralsPrinterssecuritySamsung ElectronicsExploits / vulnerabilities

More about CERT AustraliaDellHPSamsungSNMP

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Lucian Constantin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts