Security Essay

474 WordsAug 6, 20122 Pages
Network printers or stand alone printers have vulnerabilities that can lead to exposure of data, denial of service, and gateways for attacks on other systems. Network printers are added to a network on a frequent basis in most organizations, and while they tend to have little security, they continue to be treated as though they are secure by most users. Some organizations put their printers in front of firewalls and other security devices to allow remote users to print to them without difficulty. Others allow holes in their firewalls, or place printers on their DMZ for the same purpose. Printers are often taken for granted within organizations, and their security is rarely questioned. Some organizations use their printers to print sensitive or even secret documents one minute, then the next minute they’re being used to run off several announcements for company parties or favorite Web sites a user wants to hang on their bulletin board. An attack against these devices will usually succeed, and, in many cases, wont be detected or will be ignored. Because network printers usually have IP addresses and network access ports, they are good targets for a physical security attack. An attacker needs only remove the cable connecting the printer to the network and attach his/her own laptop or portable access device and spoof the printer, and she has access to a wide variety of information. Reconfiguring the laptop to act as a print server could allow an attacker to intercept all traffic sent to the printer, and could be shady about this by then attaching the printer to the laptop via a parallel cable, so print jobs are still printed by users. Attackers aren’t the only cause of physical security issues surrounding printers; regular users may also cause problems. Visitors or employees who have legitimate access to the network but do not possess a legitimate connection port may

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