50 000 Printers hacked in order to prolong PewDiePie’s number one spot on YouTube.

Felix Kjellberg, a swedish YouTuber known as PewDiePie, is in the middle of a “YouTube subscribers war” where the prize is the number on spot considering the amount of subscribers on a channel. The war is fought between him and T-Series, an Indian media company which does bollywood music videos. Right now T-Series is the fastest growing channel on YouTube and has the number one spot regarding video views.

We’ve seen lots of posts, tweets, videos with people preaching the message of helping Felix remain the number one by subscribing to him, we’ve even had another YouTuber buy billboards to spread the message.

But this is like nothing before. Twitter user known as TheHackerGiraffe has found an exploit that enabled him to hack 50 thousand printers. First words about it came from twitter where people thought it was actually PewDiePie’s propaganda. PewDiePie took a bit of hate to the face because of this, but not enough to affect him – it’s not the first time and not the last time he gets bullied.

 

Because of this event the subscriber war took a twist and PewDiePie is still number one but not for long since T-Series is growing 4 times quicker. Here’s a live sub counter from YouTube provided by FlareTV

A bit about the technical side of the “hack”.

“TheHackerGiraffe scanned the Internet to find the list of vulnerable printers with port 9100 open using Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices and exploited them to spew out a message.

The hacker mainly uses an open-source hacking tool to exploit vulnerable printers, called Printer Exploitation Toolkit (PRET), which has been designed for testing printers against various known vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to capture or manipulate print jobs.”

The Hacker News

Apparently this is more of a trick than a hack. It’s not very complicated and it’s already been done by a hacker called Weev in 2016 in order to broaden antisemitism and by another hacker in 2017 who just printed silly drawings on around 150 000 printers.

TheHackerGiraffe in his AMA on reddit claimed that he hacked only 50 000 out of 800 000 potential printers that are still exposed to attacks. In perspective, that’s a lot of printers to be used in a bad way like phishing, blackmailing or just simply abusing it. It shows how insecure IPP/LPD printers are – especially when they’re not up-to-date. To somehow portray how easy this attack may be TheHackerGiffare wrote:

Think of it as a giant print button on the internet.

Having this power in his hands our “Friendly Giraffe” instead of abusing it he decided to help a YouTuber he liked and out of all the options he had – he decided to send the following message:

It’s a good way to raise awareness about security. This trick could have cost companies a lot of money since ink and paper doesn’t come for free. On top of that a trick like that could be pulled off by a kid and they could suffer consequences because of that. It is said that all a hacker need is your Fax number to hack your printer. At the end of the day a fun little game of a subscriber war has thought us a lesson about our security.

S:
https://thehackernews.com/2018/11/pewdiepie-printer-hack.html
https://www.zdnet.com/article/twitter-user-hacks-50000-printers-to-tell-people-to-subscribe-to-pewdiepie/
https://www.reddit.com/r/AMA/comments/a1wo96/i_hacked_50000_printers_worldwide_out_of/
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