The Windows “PrintNightmare” exploit certainly lives up to its name, as it has no doubt been causing nightmares for the Microsoft developers who have spent the past month attempting to fix it.
Known officially as “CVE-2021-34527” the exploit enables hackers to remotely run code on any Windows machine, meaning they could install programs, modify and view your data essentially having full control over your machine.
Microsoft released an emergency Windows update on July 6, 2021 for versions after Windows 7, to patch and fix this vulnerability, however new information has come to light in the past couple of days, revealing that unfortunately the exploit has not been fixed as previously thought.
Microsoft’s current official advice is to “Disable the Print Spooler service” which can be turned back on once a true fix has been developed, however, it will mean that your device will be unable to print until the fix has been distributed, not ideal.
Alternatively they have said to “Disable inbound remote printing through Group Policy” which will also patch the issue and is of course reversible, the downside to this option is that you will only be able to print through a local printer connected directly to your machine. I.e. no network printing.
You can read Microsofts official documentation on the exploit here, which contains technical information about the exploit and instructions on how to either disable the Print Spooler service or inbound remote printing.