Feeds

Patching Xerox's number-changing photocopy phlaw will take weeks

Company publishes a workaround in the meantime

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Xerox has told its customers that their copiers may continue churning out dodgy numbers for a few weeks unless they change the settings on their hardware.

"To hear and see this frustration and confusion goes against all that's core to Xerox's heritage and future," wrote Rick Dastin, president of Xerox's office and solutions business group in a statement. "We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience this has caused our customers. We are working tirelessly to address these issues."

Last week, German computer science student David Kriesel discovered that when copying documents using low resolution and a small font size, two models of Xerox WorkCentre were changing the numeral 6 to an 8; other digits were also being altered. The problem was discovered when Kriesel was copying some building plans and noticed the dimensions of the rooms had changed.

Xerox confirmed Kriesel's suspicions that the problem was in the JBIG2 compression system used on those models, but said that the problem only occurred at low resolutions and was due to "inherent tradeoffs under low resolution and quality settings."

On Wednesday, Xerox issued an update, saying the problem only occurred with a small number of customers and could be fixed if the user changed the scanning settings to the factory default for higher quality output instead of what Xerox lists as normal resolution.

Dastin said that "within a few weeks" Xerox would be pushing out a patch to fix the issue by disabling the highest compression mode used by JBIG2, which should fix the problem.

Dastin told the BBC that 14 models dating back to 2005 use the JBIG2 compression, and that the company had been aware of possible problems with the standard for years. He told the BBC that Xerox has flagged the issue in the user manual, was thus surprised at the furor that broke out after Kriesel's blog post, and insisted this was a minor problem.

"There's zero chance of this happening if you are photocopying and not trying to store a digital image," he said. "You'll never get into this problem if you use the standard fax. ... or if you're just trying to print." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display
Cupertino computer in value for money shocker
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.