Microsoft’s Windows security flaw is a big deal. Here’s what you can do about it
Microsoft (MSFT) is urging all Windows users to install an update that affects the Windows Print Spooler service, which allows multiple users to access a printer. The company has already rolled out fixes for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and some server versions. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 last year, so the decision to push an update to that software highlights the severity of the PrintNightmare flaw.
Although many Windows users don’t have remote access capabilities on their home computers, business computers or people working remotely and connecting back to the office could be most affected, according to Michela Menting, a cybersecurity expert at ABI Research.
How big a deal is this?
Windows 10 runs on about about 1.3 billion devices worldwide, according to market research firm CCS Insight, so the magnitude of the vulnerability’s reach is massive. “This is a big deal because Windows 10 is the most popular desktop OS out there with over 75% market share,” Menting said.
Because Windows 10 is used by desktop computers as well as some servers, it could potentially enable hackers to infiltrate a network “very quickly” and get in “practically anywhere to find the most lucrative databases and systems,” Menting said.
Once Sangfor shared a proof-of-concept exploit code on the Microsoft-owned code hosting platform Github, it was copied by users before it was deleted.
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