HP Printers on Fire. Oh My.

I been seeing these sensationalist headlines about Hewlett Packard printers being able to be hacked. The ultimate danger is stated as the HP devices being overloaded and catching on fire. Makes for a great headline indeed. I thought this was just crazy talk. Turns out it probably is.

Here are the details. Apparently the printers look for software updates during each print job. It is possible to sneak in an unscrupulous update as part of a print job. The theory is that one could overload the printer, causing it to heat up, and eventually catch on fire.

HP has already come out and said that in the rare scenario where this happens and the printer does heat up, a hardware governor will kick in and shut the thing off before things heat up too make. Did anybody actually test out the theory and cause an HP printer to catch fire? No. Hell. They might as well said that HP printers would explode if they are hacked too much. Hehe.

Spammer Pwned

I had a weird spam message in my email today. The spammer made it look like the email came from one of my other email accounts. I sometimes send myself email to transfer stuff quickly between machines. This spammer must have determined my email address and forged it to fool me. This reminds me of a situation that Mike from Attack Vector ran into. His solution was to track down and call out the spammer.

Mike checks out the email headers. He gets the spammer IP and email address. He uses whois to get a phone number. Then he finds a postal address and bamn. He can now spy on the spammer's house with Google Maps. Turns out the spammer is Steve Nicholas of Spokane, WA. Mike goes on to determine the spammer's wife name, some social security numbers, and all kinds of other private info. Eventually the spammer contacts Mike and begs him to take down the info. What an unlucky day to send email spam. Hehe.

Hacking YouTube Views

I got a friend that produced a video and uploaded it to YouTube. Some other friends did the same. Now they are all seeing who gets the most hits on YouTube. My friend wondered if there was anything I could do to help increase his views. No problem.

I want to make it look like a user is viewing the video. The video is just a URL that gets accessed in a browser. I could just write a program that keeps launching the browser to start watching my friend's video. Perhaps I could have a small delay between viewings.

Let's say I want to try and fool YouTube into thinking it is a real human. I could mix in access to some other videos from my program. My program could also launch one of the many different browser available on my machine.

Let's think about taking this up a notch. I could write some hot software and release it for free. Then that software could quietly "watch" the video on some hidden screen. Makes it much harder for YouTube to detect something fishy. Let's see how far I need to take this.