A couple of weeks ago, a hacker going by the online handle of TheHackerGiraffe hacked over 50,000 printers for the sake of promoting PewDiePie’s YouTube channel and urging users to subscribe to his channel. Now, the same hacker has struck again and claims to have hacked over 100,000 printers globally.
This time with the help of another individual @j3ws3r, the hacker has yet again asked users to subscribe to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel and secure their printers by implementing proper security measures. In some of the printouts, the hacker also offered users to contact them on their Twitter account to learn how to secure their printers.
For your information, PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is a Sweden-based video game commentator and comedian and considered the most widely followed YouTuber for years. You’d probably be more aware of T-Series, an Indian media giant, than PewDiePie though.
Although it is unclear if the targeted printers belong to business or individuals, the hacker managed to identify the printers with open ports by searching on Shodan.io and used a tool called Printer Exploitation Toolkit or PRET to execute print commands to unprotected printers.
For the past couple of months, PewDiePie and T-Series have been fighting over YouTube. A diss track about T-Series was also released by PewDiePie in October, which has attracted over 47 million views so far. Until Friday afternoon, both PewDiePie and T-Series had a combined total of 72.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
Through this hacking, TheHackerGiraffe urged the recipients of his messages to unsubscribe from T-Series and subscribe to PewDiePie instead. Moreover, recipients were asked to subscribe to two other channels namely Smile and Delete TikTok, and to get their printer fixed.
Here are some of the screenshots shared by Twitter users who received messages from TheHackerGiraffe after their printers were compromised:
A series of tweets indicate that users in countries including Spain, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, United Kingdom, and the United States were among the victims of the latest printer hacking spree. A user from South Korea also confirmed receiving a printout from TheHackerGiraffe:
— idontevenknowwhoiam (@wilber_is_on) December 10, 2018
“Seriously. Fix your printer. It can be abused!,” TheHackerGiraffe.
The fact that this hacking was only a prank and not a serious attack with malicious objectives does help in diffusing the chaotic situation. TheHackerGiraffe has also provided the ports and scripts that he used for the hacking. However, it has definitely raised concerns, yet again, regarding the vulnerable nature of IoT devices.