Security researchers at Columbia University have accused HP of selling printers with a flaw that could let hackers gain remote control over the devices. Once compromised, the access can be used to steal personal information, attack networks, and even set printers on fire by feeding them a continuous stream of instructions designed to heat them up.
Sweet, on fire? Sounds promising, but then:
An HP spokesperson acknowledged the security vulnerability revealed by the researchers, but denied that it could be used to start a fire under any circumstances. “Speculation regarding potential for devices to catch fire due to a firmware change is false,” an HP spokesperson told Ars. “HP LaserJet printers have a hardware element called a “thermal breaker” that is designed to prevent the fuser from overheating or causing a fire. It cannot be overcome by a firmware change or this proposed vulnerability.”
Huge. Let. Down.