The End of Windows’ PrintNightmare

by Johannes Hesel

Workaround and patch for malicious code gap “PrintNightmare” in Windows

At the end of June, the vulnerability in Windows Print Spooler known as PrintNightmare was published. At the beginning of July, Microsoft provided patches to close the gap. 

Since the problem is in the Windows printer spooler service, it was initially recommended to disable the Windows print spooler service as a workaround. Such a deactivation may have effects on some software components of SEAL Systems. In particular, printing under Windows with Output Management Systems from SEAL Systems is no longer possible if the Windows Print Spooler Service is deactivated.

Instead, we recommend applying the Windows patches recently provided by Microsoft. These temporarily prevent remote access to the local Windows spooler and do not affect SEAL Systems’ software. Windows is already working on a final solution to the problem.

Which software components are affected?

The Windows print spooler is used in SEAL Systems products to prepare files on the conversion server and transfer print data from the client workstation to the output management system.

That is why disabling the Windows Print Spooler results in error messages in the following systems: 

  • SolidEdge application converter
  • Export of printer queues from easyPRIMA to Windows Print Server
  • Interactive printing from Windows applications (also on Citrix systems)
  • CE-F-based conversion / DPF based conversion of Excel, Project, and Outlook

What does that mean for you?

To minimize the impact on your SEAL Systems solution, we recommend applying the patches provided by Microsoft (at https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-34527). Though we do not anticipate any issues, we trust that you will take all the needed precautions when applying the patches. If the deactivation of the Windows spooler is unavoidable for you, you can continue to operate the unaffected parts of your solution without restrictions. If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to your account manager.

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