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Reward of $10,000 by HP to Researchers for Hacking Their Printers


In its recent announcement, the tech giant, HP, has given an open invitation to the security researchers to hack their printers. If the researcher succeeds in hacking the printer, this latest bug bounty program by HP offers them a reward of around $10,000.


Since security breaches have increased enormously in the last few years, companies are taking steps to combat the same through programs like bug bounties, which helps them to spot and report bugs through security researchers before vulnerabilities can be used maliciously. The top-notch companies like Facebook and Google have already been confiding in this bug bounty programs to strengthen their security. However, the announcement of bug bounty program by HP is something new for the companies manufacturing printers.


HP has launched the scheme of bug bounty specifically to find out vulnerabilities associated with HP's printer hardware. At home, printers are used occasionally for printing photographs or documents. However, devices, like printers, are often found connected to a network in enterprises as posted on July 31, 2018, on zdnet.com. If there is any vulnerability in the business networks, a single device, like a smart air conditioning system or a printer, is prone to exploitation for compromising the wider network system.


HP's chief technologist for printer security, Shivaun Albright, told in an interview that this bug bounty program was started by them in the month of May, and initially saw 34 researchers participating in this. The chief technologist further added that the reward of $10,000 has already been paid to a hacker for finding a serious flaw in the HP printers.


While most of the companies are largely focusing on the laptops and servers in order to maintain a robust network security, they often tend to overlook the systems like printers that can be a gateway for a network security breach. Last year, a report from the researchers of Germany said that they have scrutinized 20 different printers belonging to different manufacturers, and the German researchers were able to find vulnerabilities in all the printers. The vulnerabilities in printers, when overlooked, further can lead to revealing of sensitive information.

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