Updating the operating system is a common activity. However, in July 2021, one of Microsoft’s Windows updates gained prominence.
Let’s talk about it: Windows print spooler failure: why should I update immediately?
What is Print Spooler Failure?
The print spooler is one of the Windows operating system components. Its purpose is to allow the exchange of information between computer and printer, as well as ordering the queue of documents that must be printed.
When this tool has a failure or there is a communication error between software and hardware, prints are not made.
Generally, these errors do not imply major security holes. However, the online disclosure of the flaw known as PrintNightmare sparks warning signs.
What is PrintNightmare?
PrintNightmare means exactly that. It has become known as a serious security hole in Windows print spooler.
Through this loophole, hackers can use the print spooler and its high level of access within Windows to completely control the computer.
With this, they can access any information, control programs and applications already installed, modify documents and folders, create new user accounts, and even install new apps. All this without the user having any control.
The print spooler failure does not only affect the latest versions of the Microsoft operating system. In fact, it can be exploited on computers with older versions, and even newer versions such as Windows 7.
If this error has been around for so long, why have updates been released to fix it just now?
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Print Spooler Failure Disclosure
The codes referring to this failure were released on the internet even before Microsoft experts were aware of the existence of the error.
Researchers at Sangfor Technologies, a Chinese company that works with network security systems, discovered this error and made a Proof of Concept (PoC), which is a hands-on exercise. It is used as documentation during the process of recognition, diagnosis, and correction of faults made by developers, whose goal is to demonstrate the feasibility and forms of a certain attack on a system.
Thus, the PoC created by Sangfor ended up being put online, as the researchers believed that the error had been resolved. When it was determined that Microsoft was not aware of the flaw, the information was taken down.
However, the PoC information ended up being posted on GitHub (a programmer’s social network that also serves as an information repository) before the fix was made available. Thus, sensitive data was available so that it could be analyzed and possible attacks planned.
According to Microsoft itself, the information regarding the print spooler failure and PrintNightmare have been used to carry out real attacks on computers using the Windows operating system.
Faced with this problem, Microsoft was forced to fix the errors quickly and release a new system update. It was released on July 6, 2021 and, according to the company, it is available for Windows 10, 8.1, and 7.
The company recommends that all Windows users immediately update their operating system in order to prevent the invasion of hackers through the print spooler failure.
How to Update Windows Operating System?
Normally, the Windows operating system is configured to automatically update the system. However, it is not uncommon for this function to fail.
Manually updating your Windows operating system is quite simple. Just access the settings through the Start Menu and click the icon referring to Updates and Security. Then click on the Windows Update tab and request to update the system.
For Windows 10, the update that fixes the print spooler failure is designated as follows: KB5004945. Once the update has been downloaded, simply restart your computer for the updates to install and the problem to be fixed.
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