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Copy Machines - Major Security Risk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4133521 posted 12:45 pm on May 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is a topic that is going to cause major concerns amongst many businesses. Not to mention those who have owned personal digital copiers and have discarded them not thinking about the security ramifications.

Did you know that most digital copiers produced since 2002 have a hard drive that stores images of ALL your copies, scans, emails, etc. processed by the machine? I didn't. I feel as though I've been violated in the worst sense from a privacy perspective.

Watch this video...

Copy Machines, a Security Risk?
2010-04-19 - [YouTube.com...]

Did the hair on your neck raise? Did you get goose bumps thinking of the implications? Did you hear at the end of the video where two full containers of used copiers were being shipped? They were going to unknown buyers in Argentina and Singapore.

If the Government doesn't step in and do something about this, I think we have a major challenge on our hands. You've got to watch the above video to fully understand the impact of this.

That one warehouse in New Jersey has 6,000 used copiers on the floor ready to be sold. Think of the numbers globally.



WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4133521 posted 9:42 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, that didn't take long, did it? :)

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has begun contacting copy machine makers, resellers and office-supply stores about privacy concerns over the thousands of images that can potentially be stored on the machines' hard drives.

FTC targets privacy concerns related to copy machines


Msg#: 4133521 posted 6:13 am on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Must be difficult to access the old drive unless it was plugged into another copier, but sure it's possible.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4133521 posted 2:27 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is a big eye-opener.

If I were a hacker I'd be looking into how one can get real-time access to those copier hard drives (and copier/printers too if they have a hard drive) via the Internet and LAN's. I suspect the security levels on many of them are ancient.

Hey, I could even target a raid on my competitor's Marketing Department copier, or my employer's HR Department copier, or those of some market-makers on Wall Street.

Like to short a stock that is ready to plummet? Look for an early release of some corporate bad news on the copiers in the executive suites.

It's really scary. And with Pandora's Box now opened, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to dream up things the bad guys can do. The list is endless!

The first thing I would do right now if I had one of those copiers is unplug it.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4133521 posted 11:25 pm on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Surely people realised this before now? Those fancy copiers with touchscreens and built-in email and networking options, etc, are bound to have data persistence issues. I even once tried to find a way to delete a stored copy of my scan, but the copier offered no such option.

Still, I'm impressed that so many people here seem to care. I used to preach about data security in my last job until I was blue in the face, and my colleagues would just look at me blankly, like they could not possibly imagine their lax attitude ever coming back to bite them. I'm pretty sure most of them thought Encryption was a village in Greece.

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