Microsoft has urged Windows users to install an update immediately after security researchers discovered a serious flaw in the operating system.
PrintNightmare is a security flaw that affects Windows Print Spooler. Sangfor, a cybersecurity company, accidentally published a guide on how to exploit it.
In May, the researchers posted a tweet claiming that they found flaws in Print Spooler. This allows multiple users to access a printer. The researchers published a proof of concept online in error and then deleted it. However, it was still available online on other sites, such as GitHub.
Microsoft warned hackers could exploit the vulnerability to install programs, view or delete data, and even create new accounts with full rights. Hackers can take complete control of your computer and do serious damage.
Windows 10 isn’t the only affected version — Windows 7 which Microsoft has stopped support for last year is also vulnerable.
Microsoft released a patch for Windows 7’s 12-year-old operating system, despite announcing it would not be issuing updates. This demonstrates the seriousness of the PrintNightmare flaw. Microsoft announced that it would no longer issue updates for Windows 7, but instead released a patch for its 12-year-old operating system. This demonstrates the severity of the PrintNightmare flaw.
The company stated that they recommend you immediately install the updates.
The good news is that the security update at present is cumulative. This means it includes previous fixes for security issues.
This is the latest security alert from Microsoft over the past year. There have been safety concerns at the company, including in 2020 when Microsoft was alerted by the National Security Agency to a major flaw within its Windows operating system. This could allow hackers to pose as legitimate software businesses. After four flaws in Microsoft’s software allowed hackers access to servers for popular email and calendar services, hundreds upon thousands of Exchange users were targeted. Microsoft was also the victim of a catastrophic SolarWinds hack.
Microsoft has not released a patch to Windows 11. Beta testers are currently able to download the latest operating system. Windows 11 is six years since Microsoft last updated its operating system with Windows 10. This major update was available on approximately 1.3 billion devices around the world, according to CCS Insight.