TechnologyMicrosoft advises updating Windows computers as soon as possible to install a...

Microsoft advises updating Windows computers as soon as possible to install a security patch


Microsoft offices in New York, last May.Mark Lennihan / AP

Microsoft has issued a security alert for users of its Windows 10 and Windows 7 operating systems and has recommended that they update their computers “immediately”. The update will allow the installation of an emergency security patch against a vulnerability considered critical by the company, discovered in recent days in the spooler service, and which would allow cybercriminals to execute malicious code on its users’ computers.

The vulnerability has been baptized as PrintNightmare, it is collected on the Microsoft website with the code CVE-2021-34527, and it would empower an attacker to execute “remote code with elevation of system privileges”. In other words, it would allow a cyber attacker to install programs and access data to modify or delete them, and even create new user accounts with all the privileges. This has been confirmed by Microsfot and the cybersecurity company Sangfor, which discovered the vulnerability last week.

Sangfor researchers accidentally posted a practical guide to exploiting the vulnerability on Twitter, CNN reports. It was later removed, but not before it was also posted on the GitHub developer platform.

Windows security patches are files that are made available to users to correct malfunctions and close potential vulnerabilities in the operating system. PrintNightmare did not have a patch to solve it until now, but Microsoft has released a security update for users of Windows 10 and even Windows 7, a system that has not been supported since last year. In contrast, it has not released any patch for Windows 11, its new operating system for test users at the moment.

The update has received the code KB5004945. To install this patch, Windows 10 and 7 users must follow these steps, posted on the company page:

  • Access the Windows “Settings” menu
  • Find the section “Update and security”
  • Select the option “Windows Update”
  • Updates already available will appear.
  • If you cannot find them, click on the “Check for updates” button.
  • Click on “Install Now” and follow the process.
  • Wait a few minutes.
  • When it finishes installing, restart your computer to apply the changes.

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