Unwanted Flyers on Campus Printers

December 4, 2018

Over the past week we have received reports of unwanted flyers appearing on campus printers. Our Security team has confirmed the offending material did not come from within our campus community. The messages are part of an internet-wide advertising campaign which is now being generally reported globally. We condemn the offensive messages contained in the printouts and are committed to ensuring a safe working and learning environment for everyone here at UC Berkeley. We have a shared responsibility to ensure such messages do not proliferate. To that end, we must remain vigilant about securing all of our electronic devices--including networked printers--to prevent unauthorized use. If you see these types of flyers appearing on a printer you use, we ask that you please take action.

Take Action

If you have unwanted use occurring on your departmental printers:

  • Contact CSS IT (submit an online ticket or email itcsshelp@berkeley.edu) to assist in securing your printers. Appropriate configuration of networked printers will help prevent these unwanted uses of our printers.
  • Report the security issue (email security@berkeley.edu) to the Information Security and Policy team. Depending on the type of messaging, these issues can be escalated to UCPD for their assistance.

Why is this happening?

Receiving unwanted printouts has been an ongoing issue for printers connected to the internet. Although we want to keep printing access open for the flexibility of use by our campus community, unfortunately, this can lead to unauthorized attacks and steps must be taken to secure printers. This can be challenging in cases where there are personal printers not centrally managed and/or older printers unable to be reconfigured to meet the necessary security standards.

As part of a longer term solution, campus IT is investigating additional security measures that will help us better protect campus IT equipment (including printers) and institutional information.