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December 2011

HP Refutes Claim of Printer Fires

Can hackers set them on fire remotely?

HPHP vigorously denied reports, on Tuesday,that LaserJet printers made before 2009 can be remotely instructed to catch fire.

Could a hacker control your printer and give it instructions so chaotic that it could eventually catch fire? According to researchers at Columbia University, who claim they've discovered a new class of computer security flaws that could impact millions of businesses, consumers, and even government agencies, the answer is yes. According to MSNBC's report: "Printers can be remotely controlled by computer criminals over the Internet, with the potential to steal personal information, attack otherwise secure networks and even cause physical damage, the researchers argue in a vulnerability warning first reported by msnbc.com. They say there's no easy fix for the flaw they've identified in some Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printer lines - and perhaps on other firms' printers, too- and there's no way to tell if hackers have already exploited it."

HP called such reports "sensational and inaccurate.""Someone had taken apart our printer to see if they could 'cook' something," Keith Moore, chief technologist for HP's printer division, told FoxNews.com. "Frankly they were unsuccessful.""Speculation regarding potential for devices to catch fire due to a firmware change is false."Read more about this story here.