Resources: Handling SMB v1 in Managed Environments with Group Policy

Learn the background behind SMB vulnerabilities in Windows and how you can deal with it in your organization.

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

May 26, 2017

2 Min Read
Resources: Handling SMB v1 in Managed Environments with Group Policy

There has been a lot of recent discussion about the Server Message Block (SMB) network file sharing protocol and its vulnerabilities which were used in the WannaCrypt ransomware attack which spread quickly after it was first detected earlier this month.

The situation was so severe that Microsoft even issued a security patch for Windows XP based systems which has been out of support since April 2014. While I am sure users appreciated that patch, it looks like Windows 7 was more vulnerable to this exploit than Windows XP users in the long run.

Microsoft has been talking about this SMB v1 vulnerability since at least last September and over on the "Stay Safe" Cyber Security Blog, Troy Arwine provides historical context about this issue including links to all of the related articles from MSDN and TechNet.

He also provides links to the security bulletin that was published back in March when the company patched the exploit and then the follow on content relating to the ransomware attack this month.

It is all excellent reading to learn about the entire situation however, there is a very practical side to his article as he provides enterprise customers with the steps necessary to disable SMB v1 using Group Policy and there are separate instructions on this process for both SMB v1 Server and Client.

While patching/disabling the SMB protocol on your servers and clients is important, do not forget to take a look at other file sharing hardware you might use on your network and make sure you upgrade firmware so that you can avoid this vulnerability in SMB v1. If your hardware does not support switching off SMB v1, like my Western Digital MyCloud device, than you should consider replacing that hardware on your network as soon as possible.


But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.


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About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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