Microsoft has shipped an emergency security update affecting most Windows users. This update partially addresses a security vulnerability known as PrintNightmare that could allow remote hackers to take over your system.
How does this affect you?
PrintNightmare could allow hackers to gain control of your computer. This means hackers could perform malicious activities like installing their own apps, stealing your data, and creating new user accounts.
How to fix the issue
Microsoft recommends Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 users update their computers through Windows Update as soon as possible. Note that an additional patch will likely be required to fully fix the issue, so expect another update prompt from Microsoft in the days to come.
For extra protection against malware that may result from a hack like this one, we recommend an all-in-one security solution, like McAfee Total Protection or McAfee LiveSafe. If a hacker takes advantage of the exploit and tries to install additional malware, McAfee Total Protection/LiveSafe can help protect against those attempts. Learn more about our online security products here.
An alternate solution for tech-savvy Windows users
PrintNightmare exploits a vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler service. The step-by-step instructions below will guide you through turning off the service to ensure hackers can no longer exploit the security flaw. The Print Spooler will remain off until the PC is rebooted.
Step 1: Press the Windows key, and type Services, clicking on the Services App
Step 2: Scroll down to the Print Spooler Service
Step 3: Right-click on the Print Spooler Service and click Stop.
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