PrintNightmare: Microsoft issues patch after security warning

Computer security flaw

Microsoft issues a patch after warning Windows users about a security flaw being dubbed PrintNightmare. The company is urging administrators to install updates and disable the Windows Print Spooler service in domain controllers and systems not used for printing.

Researchers at cybersecurity company Sangfor accidentally published a how-to guide for exploiting the Windows Print Spooler service.

The researchers tweeted in late May that they had found vulnerabilities in Print Spooler, which allows multiple users to access a printer. They published a proof-of-concept online by mistake and subsequently deleted it — but not before it was published elsewhere online, including developer site GitHub.

Microsoft warned that hackers that exploit the vulnerability could install programs, view and delete data or even create new user accounts with full user rights. That gives hackers enough command and control of your PC to do some serious damage.

Microsoft’s latest update is a “cumulative update release, so it contains all previous security fixes and should be applied immediately to fully protect your systems.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency states, “The updates do not include Windows 10 version 1607, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2016—Microsoft states updates for these versions are forthcoming.”

CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Microsoft Security Updates as well as CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU #383432 and apply the necessary updates or workarounds.

Affected versions of Windows goes back to Windows 7. “We recommend that you install these updates immediately,” Microsoft said.

You can find more about the issue here.

Not sure how to update your Windows product? Digital Trends published a helpful article. You can find it here.

Article from the CISA, a part of the Department of Homeland Security