Update your Windows PC now to fix this critical PrintNightmare security flaw

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Digital Trends 09 July, 2021 - 05:35pm 34 views

When does Windows 11 come out?

Windows 11 is being pushed out the door as fast as possible, with Microsoft broadly hinting Windows 11 will be released on Oct. 20 and you can expect to see new Windows 11 PCs in 2021's fourth quarter. ComputerworldThe real reason for Windows 11

What is print nightmare?

PrintNightmare is a critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows Print Spooler service (CVE-2021-34527). The vulnerability stems from the service's failure to properly restrict access to "RpcAddPrinterDriverEx()," a function for installing a printer driver on a Windows system. Dark ReadingSecurity 101: The 'PrintNightmare' Flaw

We’ll spare you the technical aspects of the patch, but it is quite an easy patch to install. However, not everyone might know how to get the patch today to ensure that your PC stays safe when sending documents from your PC to your printer through the Windows Print Spool service. We’ve got you covered with a quick guide on how to fix the PrintNightmare issue on Windows 10 right now.

As it turns out, some researchers have already pointed out some additional problems with Microsoft’s quick fix, meaning you’ll likely want to install any upcoming patches Microsoft pushes through using a similar method as detailed below.

To get started, you’ll need to visit the Start Menu, and then click on the Settings icon on the left side of your screen. From there, you’ll be taken to the Windows 10 settings app, where you need to click Update & Security followed by Check for Updates. Windows 10 will then begin checking for updates.

If you’re on the latest version of Windows, which covers the May 2021 Update (21H1) to the May 2020 Update (20H1), you’ll need to make sure you see KB5004945 listed in Windows Update to fix PrintNightmare. This is the automatic patch for Windows 10 Home, Pro, and other versions of Windows 10 that addresses the issue.

Let Windows 10 download the update and install it in the background. After a few minutes, you will be prompted to restart your computer with Restart Now button. Once you restart, things will be fixed.

If you’re on an older version of Windows 10, (Windows 10 November 2019 Update, aka 19H2), then you’ll be seeing KB5004946 as the patch. For all other versions of Windows 10 (Windows 10 April 2018 Update, aka version 1803), you should be seeing KB5004949 as the patch in Windows Update. In all cases, your PC will install right away and will require a quick restart.

In the rare event that you’re not seeing the patches we mentioned above, then you can manually download by visiting the Microsoft Update Catalog. Just be sure to search for the appropriate KB version we mentioned above. We also mentioned and linked to these KB versions for you below for your convenience, where available.

Again, KB5004945 applies to all of the most recent versions of Windows 10, while KB5004946 for the Windows 10 November 2019 Update. Lastly, there’s KB5004949 for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update or version 1803.

Once you click the download button next to these updates on the catalog, then you’ll be prompted with a pop-up window. Click on the MSU file that you see linked and allow it to download to your PC. Once downloaded, you can click on the file (directly from the browser window) and have Windows run and install it. You’ll see that it will search for the update, then install it. Your PC will then restart.

If you’re on an older version of Windows, (Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 through extended support), then the KB versions will be different for you. You’ll need to visit Windows Update and check for updates the same way as you usually would. On Windows 8.1, you’ll see the patch labeled as KB5004954. Meanwhile, on Windows 7, you’ll see it as KB5004953. Again, in the rare instance that you’re not seeing these KB updates to patch PrintNightmare, you can visit the links we just dropped above to manually download and install.

However, since Microsoft is calling all of these KB patches to address PrintNightmare an out-of-band update (meaning it’s not on the regular schedule), then these updates will install automatically and should be showing up on your PC without any action on your end.

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Microsoft Patches ‘PrintNightmare’ Vulnerability In Windows, Urges Immediate Install

CRN 07 July, 2021 - 09:00pm

The vulnerability -- officially dubbed CVE-2021-34527 -- is found in how Print Spooler improperly performs privileged file operations, according to a Microsoft post.

Microsoft has released security updates to address a vulnerability in Windows print spooler dubbed “PrintNightmare,” recommending that users “install these updates immediately.”

The vulnerability -- officially dubbed “CVE-2021-34527” -- is found in how print spooler improperly performs privileged file operations, according to a Microsoft post. An attacker could use the vulnerability to install programs, change data and create new accounts with full user rights, among other actions.

The vulnerability existed before the June 8 security update, according to Microsoft. Print spooler is an executable file that manages the printing process.

All versions of Windows are vulnerable and domain controllers are affected if print spooler service is enabled. Point and Print can be exploited through the vulnerability as well. Supported versions of Windows without a security update made available Tuesday will “be updated shortly after July 6.” Security updates are now available for Windows versions including Server 2019, Server 2016, Server 2012 and versions of Windows 7 and Windows 10.

The updates also solve a separate vulnerability dubbed CVE-2021-1675 identified in June. Microsoft described this vulnerability -- identified on June 30 by the CERT Coordination Center nonprofit -- as “similar but distinct” from PrintNightmare.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Multiple print spooler vulnerabilities have been identified over the years.

The past year, in particular, has seen Microsoft get far more vocal and aggressive around the need for increasing security, including an emphasis on urging businesses to shift to the cloud from on-premises infrastructure.

On Tuesday, CRN reported that hackers attempted to use IT distributor Synnex to gain access to customer applications within the Microsoft cloud environment in an attack possibly tied to the Kaseya ransomware campaign.

Mike Wilson, chief technology officer and a partner at Interlink Cloud Advisors, a Mason, Ohio-based Microsoft Gold partner, said that Microsoft acted quickly on the patch--which was important because the vulnerability affected all versions of Windows and could lead to malware embedding and a ransomware attack.

“The transparency in acknowledging the vulnerability and sharing mitigation steps while fast-tracking the patch is one of Microsoft’s strengths as a partner,” Wilson said.

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WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando 07 July, 2021 - 01:16pm

The Windows developer says the threat is from something called “print nightmare.”

It says researchers accidentally published a guide to exploiting it.

The company says hackers could use it to install programs, delete data and create new user accounts with full access to your machine.

In fact, the threat is so severe that the company issued a patch for the 12-year-old Windows 7 more than a year after ending support for it.

If you have automatic updates enabled, it’s likely your PC has already downloaded the security update.

Patches for operating systems aimed at IT professionals are expected soon.

Copyright 2021 by CNN Newsource - All rights reserved.

XDA Basics: How do I use Windows 11? A guide to the new OS

XDA Developers 07 July, 2021 - 10:00am

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Microsoft is preparing to release Windows 11 later this year, and Windows Insiders can already try it today. The new operating system brings a lot of visual and design changes, as well as new features and apps. It’s the biggest visual overhaul Windows has received since Windows 10 launched, so there’s a lot to get used to. If you’re struggling with how to use Windows 11, we’re here to help.

Before we get started, if you want to know everything that’s new in Windows 11, you can check our guide. We’ve listed every major and not-so-major change that’s already available to try. You can also read our Windows 11 coverage to learn more about what’s still to come.

If you’ve used Windows 10 or other versions, some changes will be apparent as soon as you boot into the desktop. Out of the box, the taskbar icons will be centered instead of on the left side. You can change the taskbar alignment in the Settings app -> Personalization -> Taskbar. The option is under Taskbar behaviors. You’ll also notice a new icon for Windows, in addition to a few new icons next to it.

One of these icons is Search, and you might already be familiar with it from Windows 10. It lets you search your PC and the web for just about anything. The icon with a black and white square is Task View, and it lets you see all of your open apps. You can also hover over the icon to see your desktops, which we’ll get into a bit more later.

Finally, there’s another new icon for widgets, which we’ll also talk about later. You can remove any of the buttons (except for Start) and apps by right-clicking them and then clicking Unpin from taskbar.

Over in the right corner of the taskbar, you’ll find a few things. At the very end of the taskbar, there’s an invisible button that lets you see the desktop. When you put your mouse over it, a small black line will appear, so you can use that to know if you’re in the right spot.

Right next to that button is your notification counter along with the time and date. If you click this area, you’ll see a calendar showing the events you’ve added to your Outlook calendar. The calendar shows a full month, though you can collapse using the arrow at the top, so it shows just two weeks. The notifications are listed above the calendar. Apps and websites can send you notifications to alert you to things like messages and events, and if you don’t see them right away, they’re stored here.

Next, there’s a set of three icons – Network, sound, and battery. Clicking this will give you access to the Quick Settings panel. Here, you’ll see sliders for your system volume level and the display brightness, along with a number of quick actions. By default, these are:

You can also customize these Quick Settings using the gear icon at the bottom of the panel to add and remove items to your liking. Also, if you’re playing any media on your PC, you’re going to see playback controls above the Quick Settings panel.

Finally, there’s the overflow menu. You’ll notice it by the OneDrive (cloud) icon that should show up by default, along with the arrow to expand the list. These are icons for certain apps and they serve as quick shortcuts to those apps. What you see here is dependent on the apps you install. In the case of OneDrive, that’s preinstalled with Windows 11, and the icon lets you see quick information about your sync status.

The Start menu is at the launchpad for almost everything you do on Windows, and Windows 11 shakes things up significantly. The Start button has a new icon, and clicking it brings you to this view.

As you can see, lots of things are different. Live Tiles are gone, and instead, you get a grid of pinned apps at the top. You can click the All apps button to see a list of all your installed apps. You can right-click an app to pin it or unpin it from the Start menu. If you want to re-arrange your pinned apps, you can simply click (or touch) the app and drag it around.

At the bottom, a Recommended section shows you your recent files and recently installed apps. You can click the More button to see all recommended items. If you don’t want a particular item to be listed, you can right-click it and choose Remove from list.

The bottom bar of the Start menu contains the user and power menus. Clicking your user name lets you change accounts settings, while the power button lets you shut down or restart your PC. You can also customize certain shortcuts to show up in this bar. To do that, go to the Settings app and head to Personalization -> Start.

Another thing that’s brand new in Windows 11 is the new widgets panel. As we mentioned above, you can open it by clicking the icon on the taskbar, and what it does is show you quick glanceable information from apps and services. At the top, you’ll see widgets for things like weather, Microsoft To Do, OneDrive, and things like sports scores.

You can click the ellipsis icon near the corner of each card to resize or remove it, or use the Add widgets button to add new widgets. Right now, there aren’t a lot of widgets to choose from, but there are a few Microsoft ones. Hopefully, more will be added over time.

Below the widgets, you’ll see news stories related to topics of your interest. If you want to change the topics you’re interested in, you can click your profile picture in the top right corner of the widgets panel. From there, click Manage your news and interests near the bottom of the pop-up that appears. A web browser window will open, allowing you to change your interests.

Edge is Microsoft’s web browser for Windows 10 and Windows 11. It’s been around since 2015, but if you haven’t used it in a while, it’s significantly different and much better now. It’s based on the same foundation as Google Chrome, so it should work identically across the web.

The big difference is it will sync your data using your Microsoft account instead of a Google account. Edge is also available on phones, so you can more easily sync your data across different devices.

You shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out the basics if you’ve used any modern browser. The address bar is at the top, along with the usual navigation buttons. You can find everything else you need using the menu near the top right corner.

Click the ellipsis icon to get access to all the major options you might need. Your history, downloads, and favorites (bookmarks) are all there. You can also right-click any of them and click Show in toolbar if you want the buttons to show up next to the address bar without using the menu.

As Edge is based on Chrome, that also means it can now install extensions made for Chrome, including themes. Find any extension you want on the Chrome Web Store and you should be able to install it normally. Of course, you can still install any browser you prefer, including Google Chrome. But you might not have as much of a reason to switch now.

There are two main ways you can install apps in Windows 11. You can use the Microsoft Store, where apps are verified by Microsoft, or you can download them using a browser. Microsoft introduced a brand-new store in Windows 11, and it has a radically different look.

Most of the space is taken up by the spotlight section, which highlights popular or recent additions to the Store. You’ll find different categories on the side menu for apps, games, and movies. You can also access your library to find apps you’ve installed before.

To get the apps you want, you can use the search bar at the top to search for them, or just browse the store until you find what you’re looking for. Most of the changes to the Microsoft Store in Windows 11 are actually behind the scenes. Microsoft is making it easier for developers to put their apps on the store, so you may soon see many more apps showing up there. If you can’t find what you want on the store, you can use your browser to look for apps on the web.

If you want to change something about your Windows 11 PC, the Settings app is probably the place to do it. The most important settings you might want to change are here, and in Windows 11, the app has a brand-new design. The side menu gives you access to all the main sections of the app, which are the following:

Windows 11 comes with a bunch of apps that help you get things done out of the box. These apps include all the basic functionality you’d expect from a PC. These are all the apps that come pre-installed:

Windows 11 has some great multi-tasking tools, and some of them are new even if you’ve already used Windows 10. There are a few key things that make Windows 11 good for multi-tasking.

Windows 10 introduced the concept of virtual desktops in Windows, and now Microsoft just calls them desktops. Desktops let you create separate spaces for different types of apps. For example, you may have a desktop for your games, and one for your work apps. In Windows 11, you can rename the desktops and order them in any way you’d like.

To access your virtual desktops, you can click the Task View button or press Windows key + Tab. Another thing that’s new in Windows 11 is you can hover your mouse over the Task View icon to quickly see your different desktops or to create a new one. That way, you don’t have to bring up the whole task switcher interface.

Windows 11 lets you easily snap apps next to each other, too. Like in Windows 10, you can drag windows to the sides of the screen to snap them to a specific position. But now, there’s a new feature called Snap layouts. When you hover your mouse over the maximize/restore down button, you’ll see a grid of possible layouts you can choose to automatically snap apps on your screen. This includes some new layouts like seeing three apps side-by-side. When you snap the first app, Windows will guide you to finish the layout with the apps you want.

Once you’ve set up a Snap layout, you can also get back to it quickly if you happen to open another app over it. Hover your mouse over any of the taskbar icons for the apps in your Snap layout, and you’ll see the full Snap group as an option. Click it, and you’ll be back to the layout you were using.

Many people like to use two or more monitors to help increase productivity. In the Settings app, you can change how the two displays are laid out relative to each other. Using multiple monitors is nothing new to Windows, but Windows 11 brings some improvements.

Now, when you unplug a monitor, the windows in that monitor are minimized automatically, and when you plug it back in, your windows are restored in the right monitor. It makes multi-tasking much easier.

If you have a tablet with Windows 11, there are some extra things you may want to know about using a touchscreen. The basic things are what you’d expect. Tapping something acts like a left mouse click, while tapping and holding is a right-mouse click. It’s not too far off from using a modern smartphone. However, there are some gestures you might want to know about to make the most of your experience.

For starters, swiping in from the left side of the screen will bring up the Widgets panel, whereas in Windows 10, it opened the Task View. Swiping in from the right still brings up your notifications, but instead of Quick Settings, now you’ll see your calendar. To access your Quick Settings, just tap the group including the Wi-Fi, sound, and battery icons.

Then there are the multi-finger touch gestures, which are brand-new in Windows 11. These gestures are like what you might find on laptops with a Precision touchpad. You can swipe left or right with three fingers to switch to your most recently used app, or swipe down to minimize all the windows. Swiping up with three fingers opens Task View, but if you swipe up after swiping down, you’ll just restore the windows you minimized. Finally, you can swipe left or right with four fingers on the screen to switch between virtual desktops.

That should cover most of the basics of how to use Windows 11. Whether you’re a complete newbie to Windows or you’ve used a previous version, there’s a bit of a learning curve. However, once you get the hang of it, it should feel just like Windows 10, and everything should work as expected.

Do you have any questions about using Windows 11? Let us know in the comments!

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Windows 11 Will Show How Long Updates Take to Install

How-To Geek 07 July, 2021 - 09:42am

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When Windows 11 launches in the fall of 2021, you’ll be able to see an install time estimate for Windows updates. It’s a feature just rolling out now for some Windows Insiders, but we should hopefully see it live in the finished builds. Here’s how it works.

When this feature fully rolls out for Insiders, if you’re running Windows 11, you’ll see an estimate of the time it will take to install a firmware update in several locations. As detailed by Microsoft in its Windows 11 Insider blog post, those spots include the Windows Update Settings page, the Windows Update icon in the taskbar, in the power button menu in Start, and in restart notifications.

At the time of writing, Windows Insiders are reporting on Reddit in several threads that the Windows 11 update estimate always says “5 minutes” even though updates are taking as long as two hours in some cases. It’s likely that the update estimate time will become more accurate as Microsoft refines the feature before the full launch of Windows 11 this fall.

If you are running the Windows 11 Insider Preview right now, you might not see the estimate yet. Microsoft appears to only be rolling it out for a subset of Insiders on the Dev channel, possibly for A/B testing purposes.

RELATED: Windows 11: What's New In Microsoft's New OS

If you’re not currently running the Windows 11 Insider Preview, you don’t have to worry: Microsoft is planning to include the update estimate feature in the retail launch of Windows 11 this fall. Of course, this plan might change by the time most upgrade their Windows 10 PC because Windows 11 is still in development.

If Microsoft can make the update estimate time more accurate, it will be a very handy feature to have, allowing you to better plan around updates instead of getting stuck with one that accidentally takes much longer than anticipated.

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