Printer hacked to run Doom

Doom logo

Project undertaken by researcher to demonstrate security issues

We’ve already seen Doom running on an ATM machine and on the side of a truck, now a hack carried out by security expert Michael Jordon has got the classic 90s FPS running on a Canon Pixma printer.

Jordon carried out the hack to highlight security problems surrounding devices making up the “internet of things” - the ever expanding mass of web-connected devices.

To allow users to remotely check the status of Canon Pixma printers, they can be accessed via the web. Jordon, who works for Context Information Security, found that Canon hadn’t done a particularly good job of keeping this secure however, noticing that "the web interface has no user name or password on it,"

By interfacing with the printer Jordon was able to crack Canon’s protection system to get at the printer’s core computer code and was able to reverse engineer the firmware’s encryption, allowing him to write his own firmware for the machine.

It was from here that Jordon decided to get Doom running on the printer, "Running Doom, that's real proof you control the thing," he said to the BBC.

"The printer has a 32-bit Arm processor, 10 meg of memory and even the screen is the right size," said Jordon. "I had all the bits, but it was a coding problem to get it all running together."

Four months of work was put into coding Doom for the printer which Jordon managed to finish just in time to present at the 44Con hacker conference in the UK.

"The colour palette is still not quite right," he said. "But it proves the point and it runs quite quickly, though it's not optimised."

Canon have responded to the security loophole found by Jordon which has been published in a blog post. The company state they intend "to provide a fix as quickly as is feasible" by adding user name and password fields to the web interface on their Pixma printers

A video of the Doom running on a Pixma printer is below.


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