Archive for the ‘Printing/Scanning’ Category

Printer bomb malware wastes reams of paper, sparks pandemonium

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

A recently unleashed piece of malware is wreaking havoc in some enterprises by causing all their printers to print gibberish until they run out of paper, researchers from Symantec said.

“The impact is global and effecting approximately 80 print servers,” an admin of one Fortune 500 company wrote in an online forum dedicated to the print bomb explosion. “The print job names were all 15 characters in length and unique. The print jobs were all garbage print, as if it was opening the .exe and printing the garbage text.” Other participants reported the same phenomenon caused hundreds of their organizations’ printers to run through reams of paper.

According to a blog post published Thursday by researchers from antivirus provider Symantec, the nuisance is being spread by Trojan.Milicenso. The worst hit regions are the US, India, Europe, and South America. Milicenso is a fairly sophisticated backdoor that serves as a for-hire delivery vehicle for other pieces of malware. One of its malicious payloads, known as Adware.Eorezo, is dropping an executable file in printer spooler directories, causing some applications to print representations of the binary code.

“This explains the reports of unwanted printouts observed in some compromised environments,” the Symantec post stated. “Based on what we have discovered so far, the garbled printouts appear to be a side effect of the infection vector rather than an intentional goal of the author.”

Source:  arstechnica.com

Laser display could mean 3D sans screens

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

When “Star Wars” projected a hologram of Princess Leia in 1977, lots of viewers surely dreamed that the technology could one day become real.

Some 34 years later, Japanese display company Burton is working on something akin to George Lucas’ vision with a projector that focuses laser light into moving 3D shapes capable of being displayed in air or under water.

If this technology continues to advance, we could one day have 3D experiences without the need for glasses or even a screen. To create the effect, focused laser light excites the naturally occurring oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the air, otherwise known as plasma excitation.

The current prototype can manifest up to 50,000 points of light at 10-15 frames per second, while efforts are already underway to improve that to a film-like 24-30fps. Those cringing at the Unix-esque green scheme can be rest assured this 3D display is not limited to just green: the traditional red, green, and blue color mix can be combined to create full-color 3D moving images.

Burton worked in collaboration with the original developers of the technology, AIST and Keio University.

A device like this put in the hands of marketers would ensure that ads like the 3D Jaws 19 advertisement that scared Marty McFly in “Back to the Future 2” could one day be real. Alternatively, Star Wars geeks could project an image of Endor (and the second Death Star floating nearby) in their basements while giving a solid Admiral Ackbar impersonation.

Source:  CNET

The line between phone and PC has disappeared entirely

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Well, a cellphone maker has finally crossed the line between mobility and insanity – and even though it’s a Japanese carrier offering the device first, business users in the US shouldn’t feel any safer.

The Fujitsu LOOX F-07C is a dual-boot phone that can operate in either Symbian or – no kidding – 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium.  Not Windows 7 Phone; you read it right the first time…

Hardware specs are right up there with other top-of-the-line devices, with a 1.2 Atom CPU, 1 GB RAM, and 32 GB onboard memory.  A physical keyboard and trackball mouse assist in navigation and input.  Battery life in Windows mode tops out at a mere two hours; after all, it is just a phone.  When the battery runs low, it kicks you back to Symbian.

The peripheral options and native Windows hardware/software compatibility, however, are what could open up the door for conceptual acceptance here in the US.  Connected to the available dock in Windows mode, USB and HDMI ports permit you to hook up your TV or monitor, mouse, keyboard, and even printers (without the need for third-party apps, which devices running Android, like the Motorola Atrix, require), making your phone a fully functional PC – not a webtop running a mobile OS.

Oh, and it comes with a full version of Microsoft Office as well.

We’re getting into dangerous territory here.  Soon there will be absolutely no escape from work.  Be afraid, business users; be very afraid….

SMB Scanning Error, FTP Workaround

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Recently we had a problem connecting a CanoniR3300i SMB network scanner to client workstations, as the office had no server. Users could print without a problem, but were unable to receive scans. This SMB problem had flummoxed two other techs before we were called in, and the ultimate cause remains evasive even now.

 

In order to get the client up and running, however, our senior tech implemented a quick and relatively easy fix: Downloading Filezilla Server (available at http://download.cnet.com/FileZilla-Server/3000-2160_4-75123212.html?tag=mncol) to one of the client machines and adding an alternate profile with sufficient local authorization allowed other workgroup machines to access the shared scan subfolders once they were mapped to that folder without using SMB. FTP scan profiles on the Canon were pointed to the individual host machine subfolders to allow users to retrieve their scans.

 

While imperfect and hopefully only temporary until the clients purchase a server, this quick workaround provides a viable short-term alternative for anyone in a similar position.