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What Is Spooling in cyber security?

2 minute read
When talking about cyber security, computer viruses, malware or different kinds of social engineering attacks are all in our minds. However, have you heard about spooling? What is spooling in cybersecurity? In the following blog, we will identify what spooling is and how to prevent spooling in cyber security.
By, Jack Wong

When discussing cyber security, computer viruses, malware, or social engineering attacks are all in our minds. However, have you heard about spooling? What is spooling in cybersecurity? The following blog will identify spooling and how to prevent spooling in cyber security.

The word “Spooling” stands for Simultaneous Peripheral Operation On-Line and is a multi-programming method involving copying and transferring data to other devices. Spooling enables external devices like printers to collect and access data when necessary and perform their functions more effectively.

One of the major examples of Spooling in cyber security is print spoolers. This is because spoolers let non-administrative individuals enter and install a driver, which may cause problems for any computer connected to the printer network.

Why are print spoolers a cyber security risk?

In recent decades, print spoolers have become a hot issue in cyber security. However, as the Windows Print Spooler is a massive, intricate piece of software over 20 years old, it also has various faults and security issues that are easy to use by cybercriminals, making it harder for administrators to recognise whether the system is being hacked. In addition, print spoolers provide a great incentive to cybercriminals by allowing non-administrative users to install drivers.

The scammer can partake in different malicious actions against your system, such as:

  • Installing a malicious printer driver
  •  Using the spooler to drop files remotely
  •  Using the spooler files to gain code execution
  •  Commanding the spooler to print at a privileged location, etc

How Does Spooling Work in Cyber Security?

Step 1: The first step of spooling involves forming a buffer spool. This spool helps in holding the data temporarily. 

Step 2: The data uses secondary storage or memory as its spool. The spool gets loaded into the primary storage or memory as soon as the slower device gets ready to operate the data. 

Step 3: The primary operations take place, and the information goes from the input device

Step 4: It is time to start operations with the CPU by not keeping it idle. A long queue is generated, resulting in the CPU output upon exhaustion.

Step 5: It is followed by the output information from the injected device (in most cases, the printer). Thus, through a few complex steps, spooling works.

How to prevent Spooling attack?

  • Evaluate the current access policy
  •  Blocking The Unnecessary Servers
  •  Root Out Malware

Spooling makes tasks easier to store and faster to run, but the software has several openings that make networks vulnerable to attacks. To ensure network security, please make sure to check the print spooler regularly to avoid weak links in your security protocol.

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