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Hacker Plays ‘Doom’ on a Canon Printer

Doom logo displayed on a printer screen
Doom logo displayed on a printer screen

Over the past two decades, the seminal shooter Doom has appeared on PCs, consoles, iPhones, and e-readers.

Its latest stop? A Canon PIXMA printer.

Michael Jordon, the head of research at cybersecurity firm Context Information Security (not the star of Space Jam), managed to hack into the printer and replace its information screen with hellbeasts and Cacodemons. It didn’t come without effort and definitely isnt for amateurs, but he did post step-by-step instructions for those with some shady tech know-how.

Jordon didn’t just do it for fun, however. It’s his job to expose vulnerabilities, though he doesn’t believe this particular issue has been exploited … yet.

“We are not aware of anyone actively using this type of attack for malicious purposes, but hopefully by raising awareness, we can encourage vendors to increase the security of this new generation of devices,” he said.

Canon, not surprisingly, was less than thrilled when Jordon notified it about the loophole, since it could allow less socially inclined hackers to install other types of programs on the printer. The company says it plans to issue a fix for the printer’s firmware soon to prevent others from using the printer as a game system, or worse. (To be safe, you might want to keep your PIXMA printer disconnected from the Internet until that patch comes out.)

For what it’s worth, just because a good game can be played on a system doesn’t mean it’s an entertaining experience. The color palette gets pretty screwed up as you play, and Jordon didn’t reveal what, exactly, he used to control the game (though we suspect it was a USB keyboard).

Believe it or not, a Canon printer isn’t the weirdest system Doom has run on. Back in July, a team of Australians got it running on an ATM, and last year, a crew of modders managed to convert a piano into a Doom machine. The team had to provide its own screen, but there’s still an undeniable charm to taking out hellspawn as you try to remember which key is B-flat.

Follow Chris Morris on Twitter.