HP CEO “Exposes” Ink Cartridge Vulnerability Triggering Legal Storm

by Louis Parks
  • Security designed to defend against hacks makes some printers inoperable.
  • The system stops the use of third party ink cartridges.
  • But the hack doesn’t seem to exist.
hacker
Bloomberg
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In a startling revelation, HP CEO Enrique Lores unveils a dark secret within ink cartridges—hackers can infiltrate them with viruses.

According to tech site Ars Technica, HP’s discovery serves as the impetus behind the company’s implementation of the Dynamic Security system (DSS), a move that's now at the center of a legal firestorm. According to Lores, “We have seen that you can embed viruses in the cartridges. Through the cartridge, [the virus can] go to the print, [and then] from the printer, go to the network.”

The Dynamic Security System

The DSS, designed to ensure HP printers only function with specific cartridges, is facing a lawsuit accusing the company of withholding critical information from customers.

As HP grapples with lawsuits challenging the ramifications of its Dynamic Security system, customers are alleging a lack of transparency regarding firmware updates. These updates, intended to block non-HP cartridges from working in their printers, resulted in printers becoming inoperative, prompting legal action. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against HP, preventing them from deploying updates that render printers incompatible with third-party cartridges.

Securing Printers and Subscription Revenues

HP
Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP (LinkedIn).

Lores claimed that cartridges can serve as gateways for viruses, posing threats to both prints and networks while addressing the controversy. This startling discovery underscores a strategic push towards fortifying its subscription model. HP, seemingly leveraging potential cartridge vulnerabilities, appears to be trying to sway consumers towards committing to HP ink. Any such tactic would align with the company's broader strategy of recouping profits through recurring revenues via programs like Instant Ink.

The Fly in the Ointment

But there’s a problem. While cyber crime is on the up, there doesn’t seem to be a threat from your printer. A 2022 piece by Actionable Intelligence spilled the beans on a potential weakness in the system. A researcher, no doubt part of the secret society of printer hackers, unearthed a nifty trick to infiltrate a printer using a rebel third-party ink cartridge. However, the plot thickens—when attempting the same escapade with an HP cartridge, our rogue genius hit a snag. It didn’t work.

Behold, the birth of HP's defensive maneuvers! The tech maestros at HP, stirred by the prospect of a cartridge coup d'état, decided it was high time to thwart any potential ink-soaked shenanigans. The catch? As they cloak their printers in a shield of protection, HP concedes there's no concrete evidence of this ink-centric heist happening in the wild. It's like guarding the gates against an invisible horde—only in the whimsical world of printer espionage. In terms of fearmongering, Lores could only have been more on point if he'd thrown in terms like Artificial Intelligence (AI ), deepfake, or identity theft.

Well! Thanks be to HP for keeping us and allowing us to use their cartridges.

In a startling revelation, HP CEO Enrique Lores unveils a dark secret within ink cartridges—hackers can infiltrate them with viruses.

According to tech site Ars Technica, HP’s discovery serves as the impetus behind the company’s implementation of the Dynamic Security system (DSS), a move that's now at the center of a legal firestorm. According to Lores, “We have seen that you can embed viruses in the cartridges. Through the cartridge, [the virus can] go to the print, [and then] from the printer, go to the network.”

The Dynamic Security System

The DSS, designed to ensure HP printers only function with specific cartridges, is facing a lawsuit accusing the company of withholding critical information from customers.

As HP grapples with lawsuits challenging the ramifications of its Dynamic Security system, customers are alleging a lack of transparency regarding firmware updates. These updates, intended to block non-HP cartridges from working in their printers, resulted in printers becoming inoperative, prompting legal action. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against HP, preventing them from deploying updates that render printers incompatible with third-party cartridges.

Securing Printers and Subscription Revenues

HP
Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP (LinkedIn).

Lores claimed that cartridges can serve as gateways for viruses, posing threats to both prints and networks while addressing the controversy. This startling discovery underscores a strategic push towards fortifying its subscription model. HP, seemingly leveraging potential cartridge vulnerabilities, appears to be trying to sway consumers towards committing to HP ink. Any such tactic would align with the company's broader strategy of recouping profits through recurring revenues via programs like Instant Ink.

The Fly in the Ointment

But there’s a problem. While cyber crime is on the up, there doesn’t seem to be a threat from your printer. A 2022 piece by Actionable Intelligence spilled the beans on a potential weakness in the system. A researcher, no doubt part of the secret society of printer hackers, unearthed a nifty trick to infiltrate a printer using a rebel third-party ink cartridge. However, the plot thickens—when attempting the same escapade with an HP cartridge, our rogue genius hit a snag. It didn’t work.

Behold, the birth of HP's defensive maneuvers! The tech maestros at HP, stirred by the prospect of a cartridge coup d'état, decided it was high time to thwart any potential ink-soaked shenanigans. The catch? As they cloak their printers in a shield of protection, HP concedes there's no concrete evidence of this ink-centric heist happening in the wild. It's like guarding the gates against an invisible horde—only in the whimsical world of printer espionage. In terms of fearmongering, Lores could only have been more on point if he'd thrown in terms like Artificial Intelligence (AI ), deepfake, or identity theft.

Well! Thanks be to HP for keeping us and allowing us to use their cartridges.

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