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Published: February 14, 2017

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Consumers are familiar with the nefarious ways that hackers can infiltrate their technology. From viruses and malware to breaches of confidential data and identity theft – they are aware of the security risks that come with connecting to any type of networked device.

What they might not know, however, is that they are more likely to expose themselves and their employers to costly cyberattacks by using IT-issued PCs and printers than they are to have sensitive information stolen by an anonymous hacker.

Aging PCs with third-party security software and unsecured shared printers are particularly vulnerable “blind spots” in enterprise networks, explains Vikrant Batra, Global Head of Marketing for Imaging and Printing at HP.

In fact, just two percent of the hundreds of millions of printers deployed in offices around the world have any type of security measures in place. 

The_Wolf_MovierPoster_LR_tcm245_2402995_tcm245_2403004_tcm245-2402995.jpg“The printers in today’s enterprise environments are as sophisticated as any computing device,” Batra says. “Hackers can pull data from a printer’s hard drive, or get access to your company’s network. And how many times have you walked by the printer and seen printouts with sensitive information just sitting there?”

 

Meet “The Wolf”

One way HP is getting the word out about this major corporate blind spot is by teaming up with actor Christian Slater for a new, branded short film series that debuted today called “The Wolf.” 

Watch the full series hereThe Wolf Starring Christian Slater | HP Studios

“The Wolf” highlights the ease with which skillful cybercriminals can hack corporate networks. In the serialized short films, Slater riffs on his role as a hacker in the award-winning TV series “Mr. Robot” and systematically infiltrates a company entirely through vulnerabilities in unprotected printers and PCs. Starting in the mailroom and moving up to the executive boardroom, he breaches a fictional company’s most sensitive data via an abandoned printout, the printer interface, and even an innocently downloaded gift certificate.

It’s the everyday-ness of these actions that make them so dangerous, Batra notes. 

“We really want to connect with IT decision makers, CIOs, and CISOs and engage this audience with a message that they’ll pay attention to,” he says. “It’s extremely important to have all aspects of the ecosystem secured.”The Wolf Boardroom.jpg

At HP, that means designing industry-leading hardware and software solutions with innovative features across multiple levels of security. In HP’s printers, that includes the Jet Advantage Security Manager, secure boot-up, firmware validation, and run-time code protections while HP’s lineup of business PCs deploys HP Sure Click, HP Sure View, and HP Sure Start Gen3. Together, these built-in protections enable HP to offer the most secure PCs and printers in the world.

HP is also working to continually improve security for what Batra calls the “three Ds” — data, document, and device.

“We want to secure all of them,” he said. “If you have HP security, you are in really good hands.”

To learn more, visit  www.hp.com/TheWolf and follow @HPBusiness.

    Desktop Computing Enterprise Printing
Published: May 12, 2017

As I am sure that some of you have read, on May 11, a Swiss cyber-security firm, Modzero AG, released a whitepaper highlighting that a keylogger issue – which in this case, is debug code – that is present in Conexant audio drivers on select HP computers.

At HP, customer security is our top priority, so I wanted to give an update on the issue, what we have done, and our best advice to customers.

First and most importantly, there is a fix for our commercial PCs available on HP.com as of today, May 12, with fixes for all consumer PCs scheduled to be available on May 13. In addition, HP has not had, nor will it have, any access to user data as a result of this issue.

When HP learned about this earlier this month, our Cyber Security team immediately investigated the issue, found the root cause and worked on a fix. In addition to being available on HP.com, we are also in the process of getting it published through Microsoft’s Windows Update Service. This is so customers – especially those with PCs not managed by an IT organization – will get the update automatically. For customers whose PCs are managed by their internal IT team, the update is available for deployment through their standard sets of tools.

As Modzero’s report states, there was a keylogger capability in the Conexant HD audio driver package that is preinstalled on some HP PCs. This capability was created by Conexant during the development process to help debug an audio issue. Adding debug code is a normal part of the development process and such code is supposed to be removed and never included in a commercially available product. Unfortunately, in this case, Conexant did not remove the code. We certainly never intended to include this code in shipped products.

The debug code stores keystrokes in a log file that it creates to help developers diagnose an issue. This code is stored in a file locally on the PC, and then it is cleared out each time the user logs off and whenever the PC is rebooted.

Some media coverage suggested that the log files are sent back to HP. These articles are inaccurate – such information is never sent back to HP. Again, HP never intended to include this functionality in a shipped product used by customers. What is most important to know is that there is an immediate commercial fix available with all consumer fixes available by May 13.

This issue effects certain commercial notebooks and desktop systems manufactured since 2015. In addition, a select set of our consumer systems are effected. For more information on the exact systems that need an update to the audio driver, check out our security advisory.

Our best advice to customers is to install the updated driver package. If you are a consumer customer or a business without a dedicated IT team, we recommend using Window Update to keep your PC updated automatically. For customers with a dedicated IT organization, download the Softpak from HP.com and distribute the updated driver package as you would any other update. Given the nature of this issue, our advice is to deploy this update as quickly as possible.

While HP didn’t create the driver, our job is to keep the customer safe even when the issue is with third-party code. We have learned from this situation and will work to with our partners to further verify the debug code is removed from their software before it goes final. That said, we will also continue to work with the security community to learn about these issues if they do come up, and then work to make sure we can get high quality fixes out to customers as quickly as possible, just as we are doing in this case.

For more information, please read the security advisory available here.

 

Published: April 19, 2017

Android Jones' installation inside the HP Antarctic dome.Android Jones' installation inside the HP Antarctic dome.

From rendering award-winning animated films to propelling cutting-edge research on the International Space Station, HP’s lineup of Workstations are known for powering the most innovative—and compute-intensivetypes of work.

At the Coachella Music and Art Festival this week, HP can add immersive art installations to the long list of Workstation-powered creativity.

HP partnered with visual artists Android Jones and Eric Paré at Coachella, where they’ve installed mind-blowing, immersive installations for festival-goers to experience at the HP Antarctic dome and the HP Lounge.

At the heart of both of the art experiences are HP Workstations, which brought powerful technology to the artists’ fingertips.

 

Painting with light

Photographer Eric Paré tapped HP Workstations to create an interactive “light painting” installation called “Kinetic Art.”

Light painting in the "Kinetic Art" installation at the HP Lounge.Light painting in the "Kinetic Art" installation at the HP Lounge.His technique involves using dozens of high-speed cameras to capture moving light trails against a dark background. The composite images, taken in 120 degrees around his subject, creates dynamic shapes in an explosion of color for a one-of-a-kind photo.

As the cameras snap in succession, participants can use the motion of their bodies to leave a trail of light. The resulting few seconds of video can be rendered out into a still image or shared as an animated gif on social media.

Capturing each image required a custom rig made up of some 28 cameras and two HP Workstations, which Paré said “made the whole experience super-smooth.”

“No matter how optimized is our software, there's a lot of processing going on here,” he said. “HP gave us the best performance we've ever had so far.”

 

Enter the Antarctic

The centerpiece of HP’s Coachella experience is housed inside 60-foot tall geodesic dome, dubbed the “Antarctic,” that brings digital artist Android Jones’ vision to life.

Festival-goers can lounge on bean bag chairs inside the dome and watch an 8-minute show that combines animated digital art and music in a sequence that’s right out of Jones’ imagination.2017-04-19_15-17-10.jpg

He describes it as a journey of colorful, shifting, organic shapes that starts with molecular imagery that slowly builds on itself to form more complex objects, including a massive eyeball. The second half of the piece is a visual trip where the viewer is “flying through this interdimensional kaleidoscope and merry-go-rounds of archetypes, shapes and faces,” according to Jones, who describes himself as an “electro-mineralist.”

Creating this 360-degree experience inside the domethe largest installation of this type for Jonestook a massive amount of computing power to render the images projected onto the dome, which covered some 11,000 square feet.

Jones estimates each image had to be about 8,000 by 15,000 pixels in size in order to project them on the interior of the dome at 60 frames per second, a feat he described as the “highest output we have worked with.”

Scene from the Antarctic dome.Scene from the Antarctic dome.“We had to create huge map images to render out the frames and create the full-dome, immersive experience,” Jones said. “We needed to be working at the highest level of computation and we needed some really powerful workstations to render it within the timeline. That was made possible by the HP machines.”

In a separate installation inside the HP Lounge, Jones tapped HP’s OMEN gaming computers to create a more intimate experience with his art. In this installation, festival-goers could don VR headsets to manipulate and interact with a shorter version of what was playing on a loop in the Antarctic dome.

Jones and his tech team rendered art using the latest NVDIA graphics processors cranking at astonishing speedssome 11 teraflops, or about 11 trillion calculations per secondto generate a VR experience that can trick the human brain into thinking computer-generated imagery is real.

Jones, who’s toured with music festivals for more than a decade, said that if his audience has one thing in common, it’s that “people want to get their minds blown and they want to see something they’ve never seen before,” he said. “These tools enable a whole new level and dimension of creative possibilities.”

Weekend two of Coachella continues through April 23. For exclusive content, follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #HPCoachella and @HP.

 

Published: April 05, 2017

2017-04-05_13-43-31.jpgUnlike with PCs and software, it’s not well known among IT professionals that office printers make easy targets for hackers. Just like a PCs, they are connected to the network. But unlike PCs, they often have minimal or no restrictions to keep digital spies and thieves at bay.

A recent HP-sponsored Spiceworks survey found 43 percent of IT professionals surveyed in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific say that they completely ignore printers in their endpoint security practices. Just 16 percent see printers as being at risk for a data breach.

Despite mounting evidence that hackers are increasingly targeting connected hardware instead of software, organizations’ IT departments continue to prioritize OS and application security over the office printer fleet.

HP is looking to change that, which is why it’s committed to engineering the most secure printers in the world. Part of that effort includes sounding the alarm and demonstrating just how important endpoint security is for the modern enterprise.

Today, during a well-attended security influencer event at its offices in London, the company invited tech press and analysts to get the full picture of why printer security is at the forefront of its hardware and software strategy.

At the summit, HP also announced the availability of a new lineup of security-optimized A3 multifunction printers (MFPs), the first in a series of HP’s advances into the A3 market – an opportunity that’s pegged at approximately $55 billion. 

“Despite what people believe, security issues aren’t limited to computers and networks,” said David Ryan, vice president and general manager of HP’s printer business in EMEA. “Today’s printers look a whole lot like PCs, and need to be protected accordingly.”

To underscore the point, HP invited a host of security experts at its two-day London summit to discuss the new A3 MFPs in action and learn about the future of printer security. Reformed hacker Michael Calce, aka “Mafiaboy,” keynoted the forum along with a host of other HP leaders.

Calce is best known for taking down some of the world’s largest e-commerce sites and a major search engine when he was just 15 years old. While he launched his attacks through more conventional paths, Calce now views printers and other Internet-connected devices as one of the most concerning vulnerabilities open to hacking. 

“Printers are everywhere in organizations, and they’re a wide-open prairie where hackers will roam free if companies don’t put the proper obstacles in their way,” says Calce. “That’s why it’s so important for companies like HP to build automated security into next-generation imaging devices.”"Mafiaboy" Michael Calce"Mafiaboy" Michael Calce

The new lineup of A3 devices, which HP said are already shipping to customers, are no exception. In addition to making improvements that both lower the costs of printing and servicing of A3 machines, HP has integrated its own security offerings to create a breakthrough portfolio with the industry’s best device, document and data security.

“Modern printers are fully functioning clients on networks, just like PCs, making them clearly as vulnerable to attack as any connected device,” said Nick Lazaridis, president of HP’s EMEA operations. “We’ve completely reinvented our A3 copiers to better detect and halt attacks that could take down entire networks or companies.”

The refreshed A3 MFPs lineup is set to include some of the world’s most advanced printer security features:   

  • HP SureStart: This feature validates the integrity of BIOS and firmware when a printing and imaging device boots up, then reverts to a safe or “golden copy” mode if it finds the system has been corrupted.
  • Whitelisting: A security measure that ensures only authentic, certified HP code is loaded into memory and reboots the printer if anomalies are detected, returning it to a safe state.
  • Run-Time Intrusion Detection: This safeguard constantly checks for anomalies and automatically reboots the machine if an attack is identified, effectively eliminating the threat.
  • HP JetAdvantage Security Manager: An attribute that automatically ensures the company’s security policies are enforced on printers when they are deployed.

Taken individually, any one of these features could help organizations close a critical gap in their IT security strategies. But by packaging them together, along with a host of other encryption and consulting services, HP is delivering a tightly knit collection of “self-healing” capabilities to automatically safeguard printers and office networks.

The three PageWide platforms and 13 LaserJet platforms in the A3 roster benefit from a new, cloud-based proprietary data analytics agent called HP Smart Device Services (SDS). This monitors, tests and diagnoses service needs across the A3 line, increasing overall efficiency. The HP PageWide Enterprise and Pro platforms also make color printing more affordable while providing best-in-class print speeds.

To learn more about the A3 printers and their capabilities, click hereHP's A3 MFP portfolioHP's A3 MFP portfolio

 

Published: February 01, 2017

Known for its quirky brand of throwback humor and flawless recreation of the early-’80s public access show, PBS's "Computer Chronicles," viral video series “Computer Show” has become a cult hit.

Created by Adam Lisagor, Roxana Altamirano and Tony Altamirano, “Computer Show” stars TV Host Gary Fabert (played by Rob Baedeker) on a technology talk show set in 1983, the dawn of the personal computing era.

Think: awkward hair and suits, primitive synths and graphics, VHS tapes and no internet. But here's the twist: Guests on this show are in fact, tech luminaries—experts, founders, thinkers, entrepreneurs from 2017.

HP partnered with strategy and marketing innovation agency Giant Spoon and Sandwich Video to create HP's own episode of "Computer Show," featuring employees from present-day HP wowing the two hosts with PageWide technology—the latest in printing innovation. 

In a creative approach to B2B marketing, the show provides the perfect opportunity to talk about how business printing has advanced and how affordable color printing can give companies in all verticals—from education to healthcare to retail— a competitive edge with HP’s PageWide technology.

HP employees Angela Dunn and Val Gabriel gave the hapless hosts a rundown on what makes PageWide technology revolutionary: 

 

 

HP’s PageWide lineup for businesses, which includes Pro and Enterprise MFPs and printers, offer up to 40 percent lower color cost savings per page as compared with color lasers, while printing faster than other color MFPs in their class.

That’s a very long way from the dot-matrix printer shown in the original “Computer Chronicles” video spot on printers, in which hosts of the show, with whirring machine in the background, needed a primer to understand how the printer actually connects to a PC.

  

 

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To learn more about HP's PageWide technology, visit www.hp.com/go/pagewide and follow @HPGraphicArts on Twitter.