In March 2016, HP sent millions of Inkjet and Inkject Pro owners a fake "security update" that was really a timebomb: six months later, in September 2016 (one year ago!), the "security update" code started rejecting third party ink, prompting nearly 15,000 complaints from HP owners.
HP eventually issued a statement that said, basically, "We're sorry you're angry at us," and provided a link to a firmware update, hidden on a disused website behind a sign reading "Beware of the leopard," that you could use to restore third-party ink functionality to your printer.
But on the first anniversary of its PR debacle, HP has once again been caught pushing out a fake "security" update for its printers that secretly turns on the anti-feature of checking for and rejecting third-party ink.
But according to ghacks.net, a new firmware update for HP Officejet printers released yesterday appears to be identical to the reviled DRM update released exactly one year ago. When you try to use third-party ink after installing the new/old firmware, you apparently run into an error that says "One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace with new cartridges." Depending on how many cartridges your specific printer uses, it may be possible to insert one or two without getting an error. But it seems when all of the ink cartridge slots are filled up, the warning message will be displayed again.
The new firmware reportedly affects printers from HP's OfficeJet 6800 series, OfficeJet Pro 6200 series, OfficeJet Pro X 450 series, OfficeJet Pro 8600 series and more. We have reached out to HP for comment and will update this article if and when we hear back.
One Year After Bricking Third-Party Ink With Update, HP Is Back on Its Bullshit [Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo]