HP Launches $10,000 Bug Bounty for Printers

HP Launches $10,000 Bug Bounty for Printers

It’s common practice for companies to offer security researchers and “white hat” hackers monetary compensation for finding bugs in their products. So-called “bug bounties” allow the company to patch its products before the flaw becomes a target of nefarious hackers. Google, Apple, and many other companies use such programs. Now, HP is opening a new bug bounty program that is the first of its kind — HP wants hackers to break into its printers.

This whole concept seems silly at first, but printer security has HP worried. As HP and other manufacturers introduce more networking capabilities and cloud functions, printers are presenting a larger attack surface. HP’s the largest supplier of enterprise-grade printers, and it doesn’t want to be installing security holes in offices around the world. That’s generally bad for business.

HP Launches $10,000 Bug Bounty for Printers
HP Launches $10,000 Bug Bounty for Printers

The program operates on the Bugcrowd crowdsourced security platform, but you can’t just join it uninvited. HP has selected 34 researchers to participate in the program for the time being, but it may open it up more widely later. HP instructed the security researchers to look for firmware-level vulnerabilities like remote code execution, cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs. The bounty currently covers the HP LaserJet Enterprise printers and the HP PageWide Enterprise edition printers.

Some of the affected printers like the LaserJet Enterprise series start at a few hundred dollars and can reach several thousand.
Some of the affected printers like the LaserJet Enterprise series start at a few hundred dollars and can reach several thousand.

Prizes range from $500 for a vulnerability with limited impact to $10,000 for a serious bug that could endanger a network. A single researcher or group can claim multiple bounties related to the same feature if they can show there are other ways to exploit them. HP will also pay up if someone reports a bug that HP already identified internally — it calls this a “good faith payment.”

The printer bug bounty will run indefinitely, and HP says it may expand the program to its PC products in the future. It’s starting with printers because it believes the threat has been underestimated as printers get ever more powerful. Many of these devices are like lightweight computers in their own right with programmable operating systems and memory for saved documents (as well as malware).

Continue reading

Intel Launches AMD Radeon-Powered CPUs

Intel's new Radeon+Kaby Lake hybrid CPUs are headed for store shelves. Here's how the SKUs break down and what you need to know.

Top-Secret ‘Zuma’ Satellite Launched by SpaceX May Have Been Lost

The recent "Zuma" launch appeared to go off without a hitch, but now there's reason to think the US spy satellite might have been destroyed before going into operation.

Rivet Launches Blazing Fast, Intel-Based Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Chip, New Xbox Router

Rivet Networks has launched a new Wi-Fi chip based on an Intel solution, as well as a new, Xbox One-optimized router debuting this spring.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Delayed by US Government Shutdown

After previously suggesting a government shutdown would not delay the Falcon Heavy project, SpaceX now says it won't be able to test the rocket during a government shutdown. Even if the current impasse in Washington is solved, we're not out of the budgetary woods just yet.