Microsoft advises customers to disable printing until vulnerability fixed

Microsoft has urged customers to disable printing from their devices until a system vulnerability has been patched, according to a July 2 report by the American Hospital Association.

Four things to know:

  1. A June 30 report by Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University said a vulnerability in Windows' print service allows remote users to execute code on the computer system. 

  2. Until the vulnerability has been patched, Microsoft said July 3 that customers should consider disabling printing services.

  3. "This critical vulnerability has the potential to be highly disruptive for hospitals and health systems," said John Riggi, AHA's senior adviser for cybersecurity and risk. "Simply disabling print services in hospitals and health systems is not an option as we have already heard from multiple sources in the field. Printing services are used for everything from printing patient identification wristbands to labels for IV medications."

  4. Mr. Riggi added: "Continuing essential patient care services must be balanced with the potential for remote exploitation of this vulnerability. We anxiously await further information and updated patches from Microsoft. The AHA has been in contact with multiple government agencies and will continue to closely monitor the situation and advise the field."

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