Hackers Could Target Fax Machines to Enter an Organization’s Network

Hackers Could Target Fax Machines to Enter an Organization’s Network

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Be aware of new ways hackers are attempting to hack business data.

Just last month, Check Point, a cyber security firm in Israel, stated that their research discovered security flaws in tens of millions of fax machines. They have found that hackers are taking advantage of present fax machines in businesses, that often go unused now, to access sensitive information.

The way it works is the hacker sends an image file through the phone line (or a file that the fax machine registers as an image file) and that is coded to contain malicious software. When a company receives the photo, the image is decoded and uploaded into the fax-printer’s memory, allowing the hackers to take over the device and spread malicious code through the entire network.

Unfortunately, cyber attacks can happen to any sized business at any time. Many companies may not even be aware that they have a fax machine connected to their network, but fax capability is built into many multifunction office and home printers.

The researchers focused on Hewlett Packard’s Office Jet Pro all-in-one fax printers — the global market leader for fax machines. Hewlett Packard quickly fixed the issue — a patch is available on their support page — but the same vulnerabilities are present in most fax machines, including those by Canon and Epson. Unsurprisingly, many fax machines are too old to even update. This means that it’s difficult for companies to stop entering their system.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 45 million fax machines in businesses. This type of communication is still widely used in healthcare, banking, law, and sectors where information is highly sensitive. The U.S. medical sector, around 75 percent of all communications are sent by fax. Since such private information is being shared through these devices, it is only wise to protect the business from hackers by addressing fax machine cyber attacks.

To prevent organizations’ networks from becoming compromised, experts recommend that companies check if their fax machines can be updated, or place fax devices on a secure network that is separate from the networks that carry sensitive information.

To get the protection you need for your network, contact Hoffman Brown Company in Sherman Oaks, California. We can help you find reliable cyber liability insurance for your needs, giving you the peace of mind your business is protected.