Hacker hijacks 50,000 printers to tell people to subscribe to PewDiePie

In a bit of unusual news, approximately 50,000 printers were hijacked to print out messages asking people to subscribe to popular Youtuber PewDiePie. An Indian music and film production company called T-Series is putting up a fight for YouTube's top spot and it's starting to invade people's homes.

A hacker has claimed responsibility for taking over 50,000 printers worldwide to print a unusual message asking people to subscribe to YouTuber PewDiePie. The hack is one of the most basic tricks one can pull off, and has been done before numerous times, first by a famous hacker named Weev, who made thousands of Internet-connected printers spew out anti-Semitic messages in March 2016, and then again in February 2017 by another hacker who printed silly drawings on over 150,000 printers.

Right now, subscriber counts stand at 72.6 million for PewDiePie and 72.5 for T-Series. A hacker by the name of TheHackerGiraffe took responsibility and claimed the hack was to spread awareness about printer security and to get PewDiePie to notice him. According to TheHackerGiraffe, there were about 800,000 printers that could have been exploited. T-Series, however, has been making faster gains, leading fans to start advertising on Pewdiepie's part.

The hacker reveals that he used Shodan, a repository for internet connected devices where he found 80,000 connected printers and chose to attack 50,000 of them to raise awareness about printer security, The Verge reported. TheHackerGiraffe mentioned that he was "a huge fan of PewDiePie and thought it might give him a slight edge in his struggle to remain the number one".

The hack relies on using automated scripts to send print messages to printers that have IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) ports, LPD (Line Printer Daemon) ports, and port 9100 left open over the Internet.

"People underestimate how easy a malicious hacker could have used a vulnerability like this to cause major havoc", TheHackerGiraffe said while speaking to The Verge.

Vanessa Coleman