Some Xerox Copiers Are Going Rogue and Changing Numbers for Fun

Paper jams are the most basic weapon in copier vs. human warfare, but a few models of Xerox copiers are stepping up their game. They've been very stealthily going rogue and secretly changing a few key details of the docs they've been working on.

This subtle subterfuge seems to be perpetrated specifically by Xerox Workcentre 7535s and 7556s, which have a bad habit of changing 6s into 8s. Sneaky for sure, but malicious intent is so far unconfirmed.

German computer scientist David Kriesel uncovered the nefarious ploy through a bunch of trial and error, and painstakingly isolated and replicated the issues. Here's what the sabotage looks like:

Some Xerox Copiers Are Going Rogue and Changing Numbers for Fun

Apparently, the issue can be traced back to an overzealous compression standard, which just happens to be changing a few invoice balances here and there, and altering the measurements on blueprints for funsies.

Since coming out with his concerns, Kriesel has gotten some "oh thank god"s from other affected users who surely thought they were insane. So be sure to keep a close eye on those copiers. Who knows what they're doing behind your back. [David Kriesel via BBC]

Update: Xerox has addressed the issue in a post on its blog, clarifying some details about the problem, and offering a fix.