Hacking Computer Printers a Reality Suggests Research Team at Columbia University

According to an article featured on MSNBC.com, it may be possible for cyber criminals to hack into any printer and instruct it to do whatever they want it to. In fact, the printer could be instructed to overheat and catch fire.

The article included an interview with Salvatore Stolfo, a member of the Computer Science Department at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science and his team of researchers. This team invested months investigating the security vulnerabilities of Hewlett Packard (HP) printers by performing various tests on current security features.

Stolfo in the interview stated, "The research on this is crystal clear...The impact of this is very large. These devices are completely open and available to be exploited," according to the MSNBC.com report.

HP has since issued a statement refuting the allegation that its printers can catch fire.

"Today there has been sensational and inaccurate reporting regarding a potential security vulnerability with some HP LaserJet printers. Speculation regarding potential for devices to catch fire due to a firmware change is false."

The company also confirmed that no customers have reported of any type of unauthorised access.