Printer recommendation please

perryh at perryh at
Tue Apr 3 11:30:53 UTC 2012

Jerry <jerry at> wrote:

> Obviously you are not aware of the latest trend towards the
> movement to standardize PDF as the standard print format. I would
> recommend you start by reading the documentation located at:
> <>
> and continue on from there.

That page seems to be concerned with using PDF, rather than PS, as
a common intermediate print language in CUPS.  I see nothing there
relevant to sending PDF directly to a printer.

> While there might be some rational for your security concerns on
> a business network in regards to wireless networks, they are not
> really relevant on a home networks. The simple ease of use that a
> wireless network gives a user on a home network far outweigh any
> pseudo claims of espionage.

Following that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion would
lead one to believe that home networks have no need of any malware
protection, e.g. anti-virus.  Any ISP which has had to deal with
incidents precipitated by customers' infected machines -- including
but likely not limited to DDoS and spambots -- would likely disagree.

> Furthermore, there are means of encrypting print data ...

Utterly irrelevant to the topic under discussion, which is
the additional malware exposure that a PDF-accepting printer
has relative to a printer that accepts only PCL and/or PS.

I maintain that an attacker can more easily trick a less-than-
paranoid user into sending a malware "print file" to a PDF-accepting
printer than to a non-PDF-accepting printer, simply because PDF
is such a commonly used distribution format.  If someone prints a
malware "PDF" file that they have downloaded, and the process of
printing it does not require that it be transformed in any way (such
as conversion to PS) before being sent to the printer, their only
protection from disaster is whatever validation may be built into
the printer itself.  (Keep in mind that what started the malware
discussion was Poly's link to a report stating that some printers
do not sufficiently validate an "update firmware" job.)

Granted the identical exposure exists for a PS printer if the
downloaded malware file is identified as a PS file, however the
risk is much less in practice because distribution of PS files
is sufficiently uncommon that most unsophisticated users would
have no idea what to do with one if they were to come across it.

> By the way, since you seem so concerned over your printers security,
> I assume that you all ready have it at least password protected.

No need.  I have no wireless at all -- everything is hardwired --
and I trust my firewall.  There's no way for anyone to either sniff
or inject anything from outside (i.e. without physical access to
the network on the secure side of the firewall).

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list