Fax machines seem to be a thing of the past for many new age businesses and professionals these days, but in reality, they’re still being used. In fact, according to Jive, more than 46 million businesses still use fax machines in some way or another. Typically businesses are still using fax machines because their clients still use them, potential government regulations or industry standards, proof of paper trail, convenience, and in some instances, fax machines are more secure.
However, an Israeli cyber security firm, Check Point, recently discovered that hackers may be infiltrating businesses networks using just a fax machine number…which might not even be connected to the internet. The researchers at Check Point demonstrated that a hacker can execute a script that targets the victim’s fax number in order to obtain network access. According to the researchers, the attacker can then use EternalBlue, a NSA-developed exploit leaked by the Shadow Brokers hacker group, to further infiltrate the network and execute malware.
Using the malware executed for this attack, the hacker can search and exploit specific information about the victim and send it back to the hacker’s fax machine. Additionally, the hacker can severely manipulate what gets sent and received. For example, if the victim sends sensitive account information to their bank, the cybercriminal can program the fax machine to send a copy to the attackers fax machine. The attacker can also tamper with the content included on the document being sent by altering the information to include or exclude what they to be attached to the document.
It’s worth noting that having a cyber security insurance policy in place will protect your business in the case that your fax machine does get exploited by hackers.
If you’d like to read more about the potential security breaches associated with fax machines, click here.