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KB5004945 doesn’t actually fix the PrintNightmare vulnerability

In September, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a document dubbed “Beyond Buyer Beware”: it was a warning about the dangers of buying counterfeit goods. It’s pretty well-known now that fake products are dangerous to the consumer, but the document also warned about fake software. In particular, it highlighted a number of “Windows” bugs, along with a specific one: a vulnerability, dubbed PrintNightmare, which was previously discussed by a number of security experts. It was a problem, in short, which led to a printer being accessed without the user knowing.

A new update has been released for Windows 7 (KB5004945) that is supposed to fix the PrintNightmare vulnerability. According to Microsoft, this update resolves the issue by adding additional code to the printing subsystem. However, this update does not actually fix the PrintNightmare vulnerability.

Vlad Turiceanu Editor-in-Chief

With a passion for technology, Windows and anything with an on/off button, he has spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the world of technology. With a strong background in personal computers,… Read more

  • Microsoft recently released KB5004945 to fix the PrintNightmare vulnerability.
  • The update is only available for certain versions of Windows.
  • While this is a temporary fix, it doesn’t seem to work for Zebra owners.
  • There are several methods to solve the problem and get the printer working again.

Microsoft recently released a stopgap solution in the form of KB5004945. This essential KB addresses a widespread problem with the Windows Print Spooler service, also known as PrintNightmare.

This vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with system privileges, then create new users with full access, view or delete personal data. In other words: This vulnerability poses a serious security problem for anyone using the WPS service.

You should know that KB5004945 appears as a direct update for Windows versions newer than v2004. Users of Windows 10 version 1909 will first receive the update KB5004946, followed by a new collision update.

Moreover, as Microsoft notes in its white paper:

The security update for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10, version 1607, has been released. Check the security updates table to find the right update for your system. We recommend that you install these updates immediately. If you are unable to install these updates, see the Frequently Asked Questions and Workarounds sections of this CVE for information on how to protect your system from this security vulnerability.

KB5004945 contains important bugs for Zebrausers

Although this new security update should fix the vulnerability on all versions of Windows newer than v2004, KB5004945 seems to be causing a lot of problems, especially for Zebra printers:

Is anyone having problems with older (possibly archaic) Zebra/Eltron 2844 printers and the new KB5004945 update for Windows 10? I have noticed that many of our stations no longer print with these old USB printers. I removed the update and the impression is good.

The same goes for the Lighthouse printers. A common solution is to remove the update to correct the errors caused by the hotfix.

Another solution, confirmed by many users, is to reinstall the printer driver without uninstalling the update, but then the original driver must be signed. It should be noted that reinstalling the driver only worked in certain situations.

This widespread problem has already been confirmed by Zebra as a direct result of KB5004945:

An email message from Zebra confirms that this update is disrupting several printer models and asks us to reset the update. We will be following the responses closely, as it is clear that simply preventing the installation of this security update is not the best solution.

For now, there is no official statement or decision from Microsoft regarding the bugs that followed the collision patch, but we can assume that another similar update will follow soon.

When this problem occurs, we have created a special step-by-step guide with workarounds and solutions to help you get your printer up and running again quickly.

Don’t forget to tell us about your experience with the latest Microsoft KB in the comments below, and we’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

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