Researchers from Columbia University have found a critical vulnerability in computer printers that could open any network up to a hacker attack.

No reported attacks from the vulnerability have been reported.  But that isn't because it hasn't happened.  It just hasn't been discovered yet.

The researchers found a common flaw in most printers firmware.  Firmware is the internal software that controls whatever piece of technology it is installed in.  Apparently many companies, including industry leader Hewlett Packard, have been building printers with firmware that doesn't not require a security certificate before being installed.

An informed hacker need only upload malicious firmware to the printer.  Since printers nowadays are defacto computers themselves and seen as just another computer on your network it is easy to gain access and control of your whole network.

But the danger doesn't stop there.  The researchers also identified a way in which some printers could be made to catch fire remotely.  Presenting a very real world danger straight from the cyber one.

Expect to hear more information in the coming days on the recently identified computer vulnerability.  And if you have a home printer, stay tuned.

For more see this source article.