Security Windows

Windows Users: Your Printer May Be Open to Hackers

Joel Lee 02-08-2016

There are a lot of cyber security myths out there 4 Cyber Security Myths That Must Die Read More and we could argue about them 24/7, but at the end of the day, what really matters is that we do what we can to stay safe and not fall victim to malicious attacks.


One common misconception is that security-related Windows Updates aren’t necessary 4 Security Misconceptions That You Need To Realize Today There is a lot of malware and online security misinformation online, and following these myths can be dangerous. If you've taken any as truth, it's time to get the facts straight! Read More , but there’s a newly-found printer vulnerability that disproves that.


In short, this vulnerability can grant complete control over your network to hackers who exploit a weakness in any attached printer. What’s the weakness? The fact that printers don’t need permissions or credentials to connect to a device.

Therefore, any Windows device that touches a compromised printer can potentially be infected or attacked. The printer doesn’t even have to be real. A spoofed (or fake) printer is just as dangerous.

To protect yourself, you should immediately download and install Windows Update K3170005 called “Security Update for Windows Print Spooler Components”. While you’re at it, make sure you configure your Windows Update How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It works in the background, and keeps your system safe and running smoothly. We show you how it works and what you can customize. Read More to automatically receive security updates.


Related topics: Computer Security, Printing, Windows Update.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 5, 2016 at 7:13 am

    When do printers connect to a device rather than the other way around? The only time I can think of is if the printer (scanner) can save a pdf directly to a folder. In every case that I've set that up, the printer requires some kind of credential to do so.

  2. Anonymous
    August 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    "The fact that printers don’t need permissions or credentials to connect to a device."
    Wouldn't that vulnerability be present on all O/Ss? Or do other O/Ss, such as Linux or OS/X, handle the problem differently?