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Security & privacy

More printer issues for Windows? Microsoft releases another fix

This year hasn’t been the best time for Microsoft’s Windows and printer drivers. On several occasions, the company had to release a patch or fix for vulnerabilities.

Its troubles don’t seem to be over because Microsoft rolled out another quick fix to correct pesky printer software. But you don’t need to stress about hackers exploiting the flaw. The update isn’t security-related, but more maintenance.

Thankfully it has nothing to do with the flaw discovered recently, which has been putting millions of printers at risk for 16 years. Keep reading to get Microsoft’s latest attempt at fixing these annoying printer problems.

Here’s the backstory

According to Microsoft, an issue crept in that causes printers, scanners and multifunction devices from working properly. It is linked to the security update CVE-2021-33764 from a while back.

To patch the issue, devices need to be compliant with section 3.2.1 of the RFC 4556 specification. As it turns out, non-compliant devices will run into a problem when they use smart-card authentication.

What you can do about it

To prevent the issues from happening in the future, Microsoft recommends that you “must have your non-compliant devices updated and compliant or replace by Feb. 8, 2022.” If you don’t, the mitigation process won’t work in future updates.

The problem will only present itself for a small number of devices, so Microsoft didn’t bundle the fix with a general update. If you find that your printer stopped working, you must download the file from the Windows Update Catalog. You’re looking for the update labeled: KB5005394.

Note: You’ll need to know which type of system your Windows PC is to get the update. To find out, type System Information in the lower-left search box in Windows and hit enter. Select the System Information app in the search results. You’ll see System Type in the window that opens. For example, it could be an x64-based PC.

The x86 indicates a 32-bit processor — which is pretty old and not put in PCs anymore. The x64 means a 64-bit processor. So the third option on the list of downloads will be for most users with newer PCs. For more help, you can check out Microsoft’s support page.

Here’s how to get the update:

  • Head to the Windows Update Catalog here
  • Tap Download on the right hand side of the screen next to the KB5005394 update
  • You may be required to restart your computer once the download is complete

Keep reading

Have a printer at home? 5 critical security steps to keep hackers out

Windows 10 update: Is it finally safe to download the fix that broke printers?

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