Hackers commandeered around 50,000 printers last month and caused the devices to spit out papers with requests for the message’s recipients to subscriber to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel. They also asked people to unsubscribe from T-Series, the YouTube channel currently competing with PewDiePie for the top spot on the video platform. According to BBC, a second round of attacks has happened with the message changing slightly this time but being printed out on over 100,000 devices.
BBC reported that hackers have once again sent messages to people’s printers that once again asked them to subscribe to PewDiePie and take away subscriptions from T-Series. While the people who took control of the printers did indeed hack them, they told BBC that part of the goal behind the attack on printers was to raise awareness for how serious hacking is.
There you go. And honestly thank you, didn't know my local net printer was exposed too 👌Now the problem has been solved (because the labels are f***ing expensive). 👊Brofist. pic.twitter.com/1Jq0Ev8DA4— Jéssica Llinares (@Thrillka) December 15, 2018
“I've been trying to show that 'hacking' isn't a game or toy, it can have serious real-life consequences,” the hackers anonymously told BBC.
They added that attacks like these could cause physical damage to printers and that people who own the devices should secure them. By continuously exploiting flaws in printers’ firmware to force data to be written to their chips, “the chip will fry and the printer will no longer function,” the hackers said.
Some people have shared evidence online of the latest hacking event by showing messages that they received through their printers. One user had labels that urged them to subscriber to PewDiePie, and when a Twitter account that appears to be associated with the printing attacks asked them to “show the rest,” the remainder of the message showed the bottom of the printout where it called for people to fix their printers.
More evidence of the printer hackings like the images shown above is expected to be seen soon when people return to work seeing how the attacks took place over the weekend, BBC theorized.