New IT security threat: the printer?

New IT security threat: the printer? A presentation at the DefCon 19 conference in Las Vegas last month demonstrated the potential IT security threat posed by a device that might be overlooked even by experienced professionals, according to PCWorld - the multifunction, internet-ready printer.

Researcher Deral Heiland showed that there are some startling vulnerabilities in place on many of these devices, which can be exploited to allow outsiders access to the data being scanned or printed, the tech news source said. For example, something as simple as adding an extra backslash to the web address of some types of printer can grant instant administrator access.

The publication reported that there were other too-easy ways to breach IT security on the devices, including one that lets a right-click on the administration page reveal password information usually hidden by black dots. Additionally, many users never bother to change default passwords in the first place, which can be easily exploited by a hacker.

If a device connects to the internet, it's a potential way in, according to experts. Even apparently innocuous systems should be carefully investigated for possible IT security threats.