Microsoft warns users to update their computers immediately over security flaw

Microsoft Windows 10
Microsoft is urging users to install the fix immediately. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Microsoft told users to install an emergency update that addresses a critical security flaw.
  • The vulnerability affects all Windows systems and could let attackers steal, alter, or view data.
  • “We recommend that you install these updates immediately,” the tech giant said in a security update.
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Microsoft on Wednesday told users to immediately install an emergency Windows update after it identified a security flaw in the operating system.

The vulnerability, called PrintNightmare, allows attackers to infiltrate users’ systems through the Print Spooler service, which enables multiple users to access a printer. Attackers could exploit the flaw relatively easily to install programs; view, edit, or delete data; or create new user accounts, Microsoft said Tuesday.

The security issue affects all supported versions of Windows, and Microsoft has labeled the emergency update as critical.

-Windows Update (@WindowsUpdate) July 6, 2021

“We recommend that you install these updates immediately,” the tech giant said.

Microsoft on July 1 said it was aware of the vulnerability and was investigating it. The fix comes amid a new wave of large-scale cyber attacks.

Microsoft’s own systems were breached – along with those of software juggernauts Intel and Cisco – during the massive SolarWinds hack, discovered in late 2020. Colonial Pipeline, which operates a critical US fuel pipeline, paid out nearly $5 million in bitcoin to hacker group DarkSide after a devastating ransomware attack in May.