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Xerox begins rolling out patches for jumbled-numbers copier glitch

Innumerate devices enlighted by downloadable fix

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Two weeks after it was first made aware of the problem, Xerox has begun rolling out a fix for a software glitch that caused numbers in documents scanned by certain of its WorkCentre multi-function printers (MFPs) to come up garbled.

"Our engineering team has been working around the clock to deliver the patch," Xerox wrote in a blog post on Thursday. "We have conducted extensive testing both in our labs and in the field to assure a quality result and an easy installation."

As reported earlier by El Reg, the glitch can cause certain digits to be transposed when documents are scanned in as PDFs. A "6" might become an "8," for example – a potential nightmare for accountants and others who rely on copies of spreadsheets and similarly number-heavy documents.

Xerox says it has determined that the bug only crops up when scanning what it terms "stress documents" – documents containing very small type, for example, or other problems that make them hard to read with the naked eye.

False copied numbers from Xerox

The new patch restores some Xerox multi-function machines' attention to detail

Initially, Xerox had thought the copier problem could be fixed by changing certain settings. Upon further investigation, however, that turned out not to be the case, and the self-styled "Document Company" warned customers that producing a patch for the bug could take weeks.

It will take at least a few more days to patch all of the affected devices, but some lucky few Xerox customers could begin updating their printers on Thursday after the company issued its first round of patches.

The first devices to get the fix include the Xerox ConnectKey, WorkCentre 75xx, WorkCentre 57xx and ColorQube 93xx families.

Xerox says it will release patches for "the remainder of the affected products" – the company told the BBC in early August that 14 models were affected, in all – in its next round of fixes, which it hopes to ship the week of August 26.

To further simplify the patch process, Xerox has created a one-stop website at www.xerox.com/scanpatch where customers can download both the appropriate patches and support documents explaining how to apply them. Xerox says customers can either download and install the patches themselves or contact local service or support reps to take care of it. ®

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