A serious security flaw called PrintNightmare in Windows 10 and other versions requires an immediate patch per Microsoft. The Print Spooler service can be exploited to allow attackers to install applications and view, modify, or delete data. New user accounts could also be created to allow access to bad actors.
The security flaw is present in multiple versions of the Windows operating system. Microsoft has issued security updates for several versions of Windows 10, as well as Windows 8.1 and even Windows 7. Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2008 also have patches available. Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 have not seen patches released yet, however.
Microsoft is urging users to update their systems immediately against this critical security flaw. Disabling the Print Spooler service would prevent attackers from getting in, though it would also prevent printing. Anyone leveraging this vulnerability can run code remotely with system-level privileges. Cybersecurity firm Sangfor Technologies first identified the issue in late May, and accidentally published their proof-of-concept online. While they subsequently removed it, others published copies as well, making it available to bad actors.
PrintNightmare can be a real nightmare for anyone with a Windows computer. Personal information such as banking, E-mail, and shopping account details on your PC can be exposed by this security flaw. The risk and financial liability is worse for businesses, of course. And healthcare organizations in particular must ensure that patient data is kept secure. HIPAA violations and ransomware-related costs can compromise your finances as well as your reputation. Working with a managed IT services provider will guarantee that security flaws like this one are addressed promptly.