About Those 87 Thousand Web Accessible Printers

About Those 87 Thousand Web Accessible Printers humor Gizmodo is reporting today that there are some 86 thousand HP printers which can be accessed from anywhere in the world by anyone who knows the URL.

This is a really funny story in that it shows just how many people didn't think to use adequate security (including some CS depts at universities) when they enabled the web access options for their printers.

But it's really not as funny as it first appears. I took a close look at the Google search results which show the list of accessible printers. Click through to the second page and suddenly the list will end after 13 links. So far as I can tell that figure of 86,700 accessible printers is bogus. It's caused by some type of bug in the search result counter.

Aren't you glad when I double check my sources? I am.

image by tawalker

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

4 Comments

  1. Brad Linder25 January, 2013

    “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 13 already displayed.
    If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.”

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder25 January, 2013

      That bumps it up to 73. On this scale I’m not sure that matters.

      That goes double when you consider that the extra 60 are probably duplicates or at the very least located on the same websites (and thus same organization) as the first 13.

      Reply
      1. Mike Cane25 January, 2013

        Really, you should know better than to ever trust Google search results.

        Reply
  2. Mike Cane25 January, 2013

    There are several hundred webcams too. But the site set up to see them is either getting hammered or my crap PC can’t handle it. At least two of the webcams had been secured by the time I tried to view them.

    Reply

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