May 16, 2014

Could someone send a “Vote for Josh” message to networked printers?

We have a number of HP printers that suddenly started displaying the message “Vote for Josh.” It is on our network, could someone have taken advantage of this to “hack” the display message. We don’t have a Josh at my office, by the way, so there are no obvious suspects.

I'd contact your IT department and have them check your network security if it wasn't sent by anyone in the office.

There are two main possibilities. The first is that someone at your office is behind it (“the call is coming from inside the house” scenario). There has been a push, particularly on Reddit, to vote for a guy named Josh Wise to drive the Dogecar in a NASCAR race. There are over 80,000 subscribers to that sub-reddit, so there is a chance that one of those folks works at your office. 


The second is that your printer is exposed to the world because your network is not secure. “Well, even so, how could someone find my unsecured printer,” you might ask? BEHOLD: https://www.google.com/search?q=inurl%3Ahp%2Fdevice%2Fthis.LCDispatcher 


In the second scenario, it could also be someone supporting Josh Wise, they just had to put in a little more effort than someone working there. Either scenario is possible, but I think the second is more likely.  


There seems to be a concerted effort to put “Vote for Josh” messages out there. I have found references to this happening from multiple people, and there are even questions about it at HP support.


If you want to hate on Josh and fix it: Use Putty and Telnet into port 9100. Then enter the command: @PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY=”Ready”  Hit enter and type the same command again. Then type “exit” and hit enter once again. Reboot the printer and you should be Josh free. 

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