Update 23 Sep: Printing from Windows operating system is restored in stages

Investigating

13.8.2021 14:00

Issue

Microsoft has fixed the printing vulnerabilities during the September security updates for Windows. The printing restrictions for the Windows operating system can be lifted in stages. However, the Microsoft fixes also included changes that have caused printing problems on Macs. Printing has been restricted in the higher education community from Friday 13 August. The break has not affected Webprint (mobile printing).

Update of news 23 September 2021

Microsoft has fixed security vulnerabilities in Windows as part of the security update for September.

Because of the fixes, printing with Windows computers will be restored for staff and in teaching facilities. The temporary printing tool will be removed from computers over the rest of the week and the Windows printing functionality will be turned back on.

However, Microsoft’s fixes also include changes to the operation of Windows computers and print servers. This has been particularly noticeable on Mac computers, where printing to campus print queues has stopped working this week.

Due to the changed situation, IT Administration is still making further clarifications regarding the deployment of SecurePrint print queuing on new Windows computers, the deployment of home printers, and printing on Mac computers. You can also print normally using the webprint mobile printing. If you have special needs, contact It Helpdesk it-helpdesk@tuni.fi.

If you continue to have printing problems with your Windows computer after this week, make sure you have installed this month’s security updates and restarted your computer. If problems persist, contact the IT Helpdesk it-helpdesk@tuni.fi.

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Update of news on 20 August 2021

There have been no changes in the situation.

A few clarifications to the earlier news:

  • The TemporaryPrinting tool also temporarily removes restrictions on PDF printing and saving, and these functions can be used with the tool.
  • If the campus print service’s SecurePrint print queue does not appear on your computer and you need it, contact the IT Helpdesk for adding the queue.
  • So far, the printing vulnerability has not caused the need to restrict printing on Mac and Linux computers.

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Update on 17 August 2021

Tool for temporary printing is available

The suspension of the University community’s printing service continues. We are still waiting for a corrective Microsoft update which we will install as soon as it becomes available.

You can switch on printing temporarily for 15 minutes as follows:

Install the TUNI Temporary Printing tool on your computer from the Software Center. The tool can only be downloaded on employees’ work computers. See the instructions concerning the Software Center.

When the tool has been downloaded, its icon will appear on your desktop.

Click on the icon to start the tool, which will open a window (enabling temporary printing…).

Printing will now run for 15 minutes. You can close the window.

Printing will be automatically disabled after 15 minutes. If you stop printing before the 15 minutes are up, we recommend switching off printing by clicking on the tool icon again. The help window will tell you that printing has been disabled. In this way, the vulnerability will not be left open on your computer for unnecessary minutes.

You can restart temporary printing if necessary.

During the printing service outage, you can also print normally using the webprint mobile printing. Please see below for other printing-related advice.

 

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Update on 16 August:

Due to the Windows printing vulnerability, Microsoft is changing the default user rights needed for installing a printer driver

Due to Microsoft’s security update, the installation of a printer driver now requires administrator rights.

Previously, users have been able to install a printer driver on their Windows device on their own. Because this functionality is being exploited in the recent printing vulnerability, Microsoft has decided to disable the functionality by default.

In an update coming this week, this right will be abolished. In the future, when you need to install a new printer or driver, please contact the IT Helpdesk at it-helpdesk@tuni.fi. Customer services will assist with the installation remotely.

For the time being, printing is suspended due to the vulnerability, which means that reinstalling the printer driver will not work if printing with your device is not working.

Microsoft’s message about the issue

How to protect a self-hosted computer against Windows’ printing vulnerability in the Universities community

Microsoft has not yet offered a solution to the problem which means that the Universities community has decided to limit printing with all computers as recommended by Microsoft.

The owners of self-service devices must stop the printing service immediately.

How to stop printing on self-hosted devices (Microsoft’s instructions)

  1. Follow the instructions below to stop printing
  2. Actively monitor the situation as a possible solution or further instructions become available.
  3. Perform any corrective actions.
  4. If necessary, restore printing.

If you require further information on this matter, please contact the IT Helpdesk, it-helpdesk@tuni.fi. Please remember that the Helpdesk has limited resources for supporting self-service devices.


News on 13 August:

During the printing break:

Windows computers:

  • You cannot print using normal computer functions on campus or at home.
  • You cannot print or save as a pdf file with all software.
  • You can print a document using mobile printing (Webprint).
  • You can download the file as a pdf from Word and PowerPoint using the browser version of Office 365 (File – Save as – Download as PDF)

Mac and Linux computers:

  • You cannot print to network printers on campus using the normal functions of your computer.
  • You can print a document using mobile printing (Webprint).
  • You can download the file as a pdf from Word and PowerPoint using the browser version of Office 365 (File – Save as – Download as PDF)

We regret the inconvenience caused by Microsoft’s vulnerability. We are actively looking for a solution to enable printing. We will restore the printing service as soon as the security update enables it.

If the methods suggested do not help, please contact the IT Helpdesk to agree on exceptional arrangements, it-helpdesk@tuni.fi.

Effect

Common Services

Type

Incident