Download KB5004945 to fix the PrintNightmare vulnerability

If you have Windows 10, then you might have recently installed the monthly Windows 10 update KB5004945 to fix a vulnerability. (If you haven’t, don’t worry, I will link to the KB and the blog post in other posts.) On April 10, 2016, Microsoft announced that it is aware of a vulnerability in the PrintManager component of the Windows Print Spooler. Windows Print Spooler is a component of the Windows operating system that enables the operating system to communicate with printers. This vulnerability appears to be a privilege escalation vulnerability in the PrintManager component. Privilege escalation vulnerabilities are a type of security vulnerability in software that result from the failure of an application to properly validate user-supplied input before using it to perform operations

Windows 10 is still the most popular operating system on the planet, and is currently the most widely used version of Windows. The latest version, Windows 10 Pro, is not only used as a desktop operating system, but many home users use it as their primary operating system due to the free upgrade offer for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users.

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  • The technology company has released an emergency patch to address the security issue with PrintNightmare.
  • Attackers can exploit this vulnerability and remotely execute code with system-level privileges.
  • The software is available for several relevant Windows versions, including the outdated Windows 7.
  • Microsoft recommends that users install these security patches and improve their online security.

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The Redmond-based technology company has released a critical emergency patch to fix a problem with its Windows Print Spooler service.

This vulnerability is known as PrintNightmare and is repeatedly exploited by attackers.

When attacked, attackers can install software, view, modify and delete data, and even create new accounts with full user rights. However, according to reports from users, the patch does not solve the entire problem.

KB5004945 is a new security update released for all versions of Windows after v2004.

Windows 10 version 1909 users will first receive the KB5004946 update, and then the PrintNightmare update will also be installed.

The patch is available for several versions of Windows

The said security patch is now available for a range of versions of Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2021 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows RT 8.1.

If you are a Windows 7 user, this patch is also available to you, although this operating system is no longer supported.

The only OS versions for which this patch is not currently available are Windows 10 version 1607, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012, but Microsoft said it is working on it.

This seems quite serious considering that the software is also targeted at Windows 7, and this fact is an indication of how serious the problem is.

Especially when you know that the Windows 7 operating system will no longer be supported from 14. January 2020.

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Information about this is also circulating on social media, with security researchers claiming that Microsoft’s patch only fixes part of the vulnerability.

The patch Microsoft released for the recent #PrintNightmare vulnerability removes the remote vector – but the LPE variants are still functional. They work on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 2008 and 2012 by default but require Point&Print configuration for Windows 2016, 2019, 10 and 11(?). ️

– Hacker Fantastic (@hackerfantastic) 6. July 2021

It is alarming that malicious third parties can still exploit these vulnerabilities. There are rumours on the Internet that there are ways to bypass the Microsoft patch completely and attack vulnerable systems.

This is achieved by executing code remotely, in addition to the previous execution with local privileges.

As you can see, Microsoft takes this threat very seriously, and we think you should too.

Upgrading to Windows 10 Release 20H2 and 21H1

1. Open Windows Update

  1. Press the key combination Win + X on the keyboard.
  2. Select Settings from the pop-up menu.

  1. Go to Updates and Security.

  1. Select Windows Update.

2. Perform update

  1. Open the Windows Update window and click Check for updates.

  1. Click Install Now to update Windows 10 to version 20H2 to receive the KB5004945 update.
  2. Wait for the installation process to complete.

  1. Click Restart Now.

You can follow the same steps as above and install the Windows 10 version 21H1 feature by clicking Download and Install.

How to solve a print spooler nightmare without upgrading?

Although this route is not recommended, it may be useful for some users. So here are the steps needed to successfully end the pressure washer service:

  1. Press Win+X to open a submenu.
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

  1. At the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter : Stop-Service -Name Spooler -Force

  1. Disable it completely with the following command: Set service -Name Spooler -StartupType Disabled

  1. Press the Enter key to execute the command.

When you perform these actions, Windows first stops the corrupted service, and a second command prevents it from running when the system is booted.

If, for any reason, you want to undo these changes, you can run the following commands:

  • To restart the service : Start-Service -Name Spooler
  • So that it can run at the startup of Windows : -Name Spooler -StartupType Automatic

Microsoft now urges users to install this security update and keep sensitive content inaccessible to outside sources.

Internet security should be one of the first things we think about, as these threats can severely affect both individuals and businesses.

What additional security measures do you take to protect your data? Let us know your comments in the section below.

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