Microsoft acted quickly to put out a fire this week by releasing an emergency security patch to stop a particularly nasty vulnerability known as PrintNightmare from exposing users to remote execution of malicious code.
The emergency patch went all the way back to Windows 7, a version that has been out of support since January of last year. While the update eliminated the threat, it also introduced a new issue. Zebra printer brand confirmed to The Verge that the patch left many of its users unable to print (via Windows Central).
Zebra, the biggest brand impacted by the issue, is most known for its label printers, a fairly crucial piece of equipment for many users and businesses. There are others though with Zebra simply indicating that the problem is "affecting multiple brands of printers." While the security is certainly worth the tradeoff on a temporary basis, there are plenty for whom printing is still a critical function and they aren't going to be thrilled to find they can no longer print.
Microsoft is working to address the new problem with yet another update "within the next 1-2 business days." In the meantime, Zebra recommends that users either uninstall the Windows update (this seems like a bad idea given the security implications) or uninstall the affected printer driver and then reinstall it as an Administrator.
Microsoft made it clear that the current patch for the PrintNightmare vulnerability is a temporary solution. It will be fixing the flaw permanently in a future Windows update that we can safely assume will avoid this printer issue as well.
Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.