SoK: Exploiting Network Printers

Jens Müller, Vladislav Mladenov, Juraj Somorovsky, Jörg Schwenk

38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P 2017)


The idea of a paperless office has been dreamed for more than three decades. However, nowadays printers are still one of the most essential devices for daily work and common Internet users. Instead of getting rid of them, printers evolved from simple printing devices to complex network computer systems installed directly in company networks, and carrying lots of confidential data in their print jobs. This makes them to an attractive attack target. In this paper we conduct a large scale analysis of printer attacks and systematize our knowledge by providing a general methodology for security analyses of printers. Based on our methodology we implemented an open-source tool called PRinter Exploitation Toolkit (PRET). We used PRET to evaluate 20 printer models from different vendors and found all of them to be vulnerable to at least one of the tested attacks. These attacks included, for example, simple Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks or skilled attacks extracting print jobs and system files. On top of our systematic analysis we reveal novel insights that enable attacks from the Internet by using advanced cross-site printing techniques combined with printer CORS-Spoofing. Finally, we show how to apply our attacks to systems beyond typical printers like Google Cloud Print or document processing websites. We hope that novel aspects from our work will become the foundation for future researches, for example, for the analysis of IoT security.

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