Using Windows? Update Your Copy Now, Says Microsoft

By Paul Riegler on 9 July 2021
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If you’re using the Microsoft Windows operating system, the folks in Redmond have a message for you: Update your copy of Windows right now.

The tech company issued this warning after security researchers found a serious vulnerability in the operating system’s code.

The vulnerability impacts both Windows 10 as well as the older Windows 7, a version of the operating system that is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Microsoft nonetheless issued a patch for the 12-year-old operating system as well as for Windows 10, and said it would “soon” have updates for Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 102, and Windows 10, version 1607.

“We recommend that you install these updates immediately,” the company urged.

Microsoft warned customers that hackers could exploit the flaw to install programs on the user’s machine as well as view or delete data.  They could also create new user accounts with full rights, a move that would give a hacker complete control of a machine.

The security flaw, known (perhaps rather aptly) as PrintNightmare, affects the Windows Print Spooler service, the service that allows for printer access.  Researchers at cybersecurity company Sangfor Technologies, a cloud company based in China, accidentally made public a guide on how to exploit the flaw.  After tweeting that they had found vulnerabilities in the service in late May, they inadvertently made public a proof-of-concept online and it was published elsewhere before Sangfor could take it down.

A software engineer at Sangfor underscored the urgency of updating Windows immediately.

“To mitigate this vulnerability, please update Windows to the latest version, or disable the Spooler service,“ said Edward Peng, the software engineer.

First introduced in 1985 as a graphical user interface shell for its MS-DOS operating system, Microsoft Windows has grown to dominate the PC operating system market, with a 90% share.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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