Microsoft advises users to disable the Windows print spooler or risk being hacked.

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Disable Windows print spooler or you could be hacked, says Microsoft

This is the third major Windows print issue discovered in the last five weeks.

Microsoft is once again urging users to deactivate Windows print spooler, following the discovery of a new vulnerability that allows hackers to execute malicious code on PCs. While a patch to address the issue will be provided soon, the most effective solution for the time being is to halt and deactivate the print spooler service altogether.

This is the third print spooler flaw to be discovered in the last five weeks. While a severe issue was discovered and patched in June, a similar bug called PrintNightmare was discovered shortly after and was subsequently patched (with mixed success).

The emergence of this new vulnerability is frustrating news for Microsoft and its users.

Microsoft has warned customers of the new print spooler vulnerability online, writing: “An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”

The bottom line in terms of making your computer safe is to stop and disable the print spooler service outright, if it’s running – Microsoft spells out how you can do so online. While there’ll be a patch for this vulnerability released in due course, no timeline is currently available.

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