This month's featured products not only represent great value, but are eligible for HP's loyalty program (SMP), significantly reducing the cost of supplies by 20 - 50% . Please have a look at the Showcase.
TIPS FROM OUR TECHS
SYMPTOM: Black Vertical Line(s) on Copies/Scans
A very common complaint with a simple remedy. The first step in troubleshooting this problem is to try copying from the flatbed glass rather than the document feeder. Is there still a vertical line? If not, chances are you have a contaminant on the ADF scanner glass. It only takes the smallest particle on that glass to cause this defect. When you raise the document feeder, you will see a thin strip of glass beside the larger flatbed glass. If you were to line up a sample of the bad copy with that glass, you will have a good idea where to start looking for the offending impurity. It may be hard to see at first, but a good cleaning with glass cleaner should remove it.
USEFUL AND/OR INTERESTING ARTICLES
Startup Offers to Protect Printers, Phones, and Other Devices from Hackers
by Dawn Lim, February 21, 2013
Printers, desk phones, and other office hardware cannot be protected using normal security software.
To most people, office printers are innocuous workplace gathering points—places to complain about the ever-disappearing toner or that colleague who apparently loves killing trees. To Ang Cui, they are high-value targets that give hackers a way to breach sensitive systems and steal trade secrets.
Red Balloon Security, a startup cofounded by Cui, has developed technology that can protect such equipment from hackers. This involves watching for signs of tampering with the low-level code—or firmware—that runs on these devices. The company plans to demonstrate the first device injected with the defensive code, a Cisco IP phone, this week.
“Printers are low-hanging fruit,” says Cui, a 30-year-old PhD student at Columbia University, who has demonstrated numerous techniques for hacking into printers and other office hardware. “Most firmware was written a decade ago, when attacks against them weren’t envisioned,” he says. Ordinary office equipment is increasingly computerized and connected to the corporate network. Office phones, for example, are often networked, allowing calls to be rerouted and voice-mail messages to be e-mailed. This hardware represents an attractive target for hackers, but because the machines were never perceived as a potential vulnerability, there is no way to run conventional antivirus software on them.
In late 2011, Cui showed how sending carefully crafted commands to a Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printer could give an attacker remote control over the machine, thereby providing a way to collect sensitive data and sneak past normal corporate security measures. Cui scanned the Internet for vulnerable printers and found 201 unprotected machines at the Department of Defense. HP was prompted to release firmware updates for 56 different printer models.
Millions more machines, including routers, network switches, and industrial equipment, rely on the kind of embedded software that Cui’s work focuses on. “The issue about printer vulnerabilities is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg,” says Salvatore Solfo, Cui’s advisor at Columbia and a cofounder of Red Balloon Security.
The startup is refining an idea Cui came up with in 2009, when he created so-called symbiote code, which can be added to firmware to modify it without disrupting its normal behavior. Once meshed with the firmware, this code can help prevent a malicious attack. Last year, Cui demonstrated an automated way to unpack and modify firmware, making it easier to add this symbiote code to different types of hardware. The researchers plan to release more details of the technology later this month. “We’re not ‘installing’ symbiotes into embedded devices in the traditional sense, like you install a program onto your laptop,” Cui explains. “We are modifying the actual binary of the embedded program itself.”
The symbiote code modifies a machine’s firmware in a random way, which means that “what an attacker may learn about one instance of a specific device will not be useful to attack the entire set of such devices,” says Stolfo. “As it now stands today, any exploit an attacker develops for a particular embedded device works for all of those devices.”
Red Balloon’s cofounders say they have contracted with several companies and U.S. government agencies but have not disclosed who they are working with; the startup doesn’t have a formal relationship with Cisco for now.
“There’s probably interest in this technology from the military, governments, and banks concerned about state-connected authors using malware as a launching-off point to carry espionage and steal trade secrets,” says Justin Cappos, a systems security professor at NYU-Poly’s Department of Computer Science. But he adds that vendors will need to feel that demand justifies the extra cost of hardening devices across their product lines.
Widespread adoption will hinge on whether manufacturers like HP believe the technology will help them sell more printers. “I’m not sure if your typical end user would be worrying about their printers being remotely ‘hackable,’” Cappos says.
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HP Colour LaserJet Enterprise M680f
Tackle high-volume jobs with a high-performance color MFP. Print and copy on letter and A4, plus scan and fax. Enhanced scanning features and an 8-inch color touchscreen smooth workflows. Mobile printing options help you stay productive on the go.
Make workflow fly
Power up your productivity with super-fast scanning, impressive paper capacity, and an 8-inch color touchscreen with image preview—to help provide the best results, ahead of time.
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Give users the ability to connect and print almost anywhere work takes them. Simple mobile printing saves time—and keeps your business moving at top speed. Print without wires—or a network—with optional wireless direct printing.
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Take office productivity higher. Load the MFP with up to 3100 sheets and high-capacity Original HP cartridges, set up jobs with the automatic document feeder, and let it go to work.
8" Colour Touchscreen
HP LaserJet M527dn
Finish tasks faster with an MFP that starts right away and helps conserve energy. Multi-level device security helps protect from threats. Original HP Toner cartridges with JetIntelligence and this printer produce more high-quality pages.
Accelerate your work and use less energy
Work quickly with the fastest first page out from sleep mode—on the most energy-efficient MFP in its class. Print and scan right from the touchscreen. Reload paper less often with a substantial 2300-sheet maximum capacity.
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Bring out the best in your MFP. Print more high-quality pages than ever before, using specially designed Original HP Toner cartridges with JetIntelligence. Count on the authentic HP quality you paid for—something the competition can’t match.
Stay connected with secure mobile printing options
Increase work team agility while also protecting the company network.Ethernet and optional wireless networking and peer-to-peer printing help users stay connected and work securely—throughout the office.
8" Colour Touchscreen
HP Colour LaserJet M477fdn
Fast wake-up and print
Print the first page from sleep mode as fast as 11.3 seconds
Fast two-sided printing
Print two-sided documents as fast as 25 ipm (images per minute)
One-pass, two-sided scanning
Scan both sides of two-sided documents in a single pass
Scan to various destinations
Scan documents to email, USB, network folders and the cloud
Easy slide-off glass
Scanner glass has no raised edges so originals slide off easily
Optional high-yield cartridge
Optional 6.5K black and 5K color high-yield Original HP Toner cartridges with JetIntelligence
Print Microsoft Office files from USB
Print Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents directly from a USB drive
Cloud-based pull printing
Control access to sensitive documents with HP JetAdvantage Private Print
Optional job storage
Add a USB drive for built-in job storage and retrieval
Low energy use
This MFP is optimized for low energy consumption
Print from mobile devices
Print from a variety of smartphones, tablets and laptops
4.3-inch color touchscreen
Manage print jobs at the MFP with the 4.3-inch color touchscreen