Microsoft warns it is removing Smart Card printing-scanning failure mitigation soon

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While Patch Tuesday updates are meant to fix security bugs in Windows, they can often lead to other issues too. Such was the case for the July 2021 Patch Tuesday which broke printing and scanning while using Smart Card authentication. Microsoft at that time provided a mitigation for the issue.

However, the company has cautioned today that it will be removing these mitigations soon starting with the upcoming July 19 update that will be out in a few days time.

Hardening changes coming 07/2022: Smart card authentication might cause print and scan failures

On July 13, 2021, Microsoft released hardening changes for Windows Key Distribution Center Information Disclosure Vulnerability, CVE-2021-33764. With these changes, smart card (PIV) authentication might cause print and scan failures when you install updates released on July 13, 2021, or later versions on a domain controller (DC).

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A temporary mitigation, released in Windows Updates between July 29, 2021, and July 12, 2022, was made available for organizations that encountered this issue and couldn't bring devices into compliance as required for CVE-2021-33764. However, starting in July 2022, this temporary mitigation will not be usable in security updates. The Windows July 2022 preview update will remove the temporary mitigation and will require compliant printing and scanning devices.

As of July 19, 2022, there will be no further fallback option in later updates, and all non-compliant devices must be identified using the audit events starting in January 2022 and updated or replaced by the mitigation removal.

Microsoft has provided a detailed timeline about the event from when it started all the way up to the upcoming mitigation removals:

Microsoft KB5005408 timeline

You can find more details on these upcoming changes on Microsoft's website here.

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