PrintNightmare: Windows users need this emergency patch installed right now

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Photo: Nicolas Asfouri (Getty Images) – The “PrintNightmare” exploit could open a world of hurt for your computer. Listen up for Windows users. A major security bug called “Print Nightmare” was released by Microsoft late Tuesday. Attackers could use this vulnerability via Microsoft to install malicious code, view, modify data or even ‘build full user rights’ accounts so that the fix is downloaded sooner rather than later.

read more: How to prevent a security threat from Windows’ PrintNightmare

The PrintNightmare bug—tracked by Microsoft as CVE-2021-34527—targets to communicate between a device and its printer with Window’s Print Spooler program. Many security researchers documented a loophole in the technology that, in theory, would enable a malfunctioning actor to turn from the spooler system into a human Windows computer to give themselves the device’s management or system rights.

While the original proof of this feat was removed, business nerds forked multiple versions of the original code, so it could easily fall into the hands of some bad actor. Soon after, the emergency patch was issued by Microsoft.

The release from Microsoft notes that “All Windows versions are vulnerable,” but not all of the Windows systems still have patches. All the patches required in Windows 10 1607, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012, but Microsoft promised to release “soon.” All of these patches were still needed. Microsoft also pubbted a number of queries that Microsoft Defender security and IT teams can use in their own networks to hunt Spool vulnerabilities.

If your system does not yet have a patch, Microsoft will also only deactivate your Print Spooler software. Just note that according to the notice, this prevents you from being able to print remotely. You will have to connect your device directly to the printer in question if you wish to continue printing locally.