Trojan Hits Printers, Lots of Wasted Pages Jun 26, 2012 12:31 by Mike Derges
There have been a number of reports recently about printers seemingly going crazy and pushing out pages and pages of garbage prints until they run out of paper. Obviously these machines are not insane but have been affected by a Trojan which has apparently caused this bizarre side effect.
The Trojan, Milicenso, was first documented by the security firm Symantec back in 2010 and even then they described it as a “malware vehicle for hire”. It seems that some crafty hackers have adapted the code which now has more delivery options than ever before. The usual vectors of spam e-mail and dis-reputable sites are still a main method of infection but more worryingly it can be packaged into fake codecs which unsuspecting users may download when trying to play media.
The trojan itself has a very complicated method for avoiding detection and even uses other malware as a smokescreen if it detects the presence of virtual machines or other diagnostic equipment. an interesting side affect of this infection is that, due to creating a printer spool file, the infected machine start to create print jobs made of garbage that run ceaselessly until the printer encounters an error. This can be quite costly if it’s not detected, a well stocked printer could waste a few hundred sheets of paper and quite a bit of ink if no-one spots the issue.
According to numerous reports America and India have been the hardest hit with parts of Europe and south America also suffering from high rates of infection. If you’d like to know more about this threat head over to Symantec’s Blog to get more info.
If you find your machine printing endlessly the best thing you can do is to remove the paper from your tray, quickly followed by updating your anti-virus software and if necessary talking to a security professional.