The attack vector used during the WannaCrypt Ransomware outbreak earlier this year was through a 30 year old Windows protocol called SMB (Server Message Block) Version 1.
Over the course of a multi-year security plan, the company is removing the vulnerable protocol from Windows by changing its default status to not installed during clean installations of future versions of Windows.
Yesterday, when Microsoft released Windows 10 Build 16226, a Redstone 3 development branch build of the Fall Creators Update, they inserted this new behavior into the operating system.
If you perform an upgrade to the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update when it is released and SMB1 is already installed then it will continue to be available on that system. Clean installs of the Fall Creators Update, expected this September, will keep the protocol uninstalled by default.
These changes will help lower the attack risks through this protocol on Windows in the future.
Here are the specific details of the what this change means moving forward:
-- All Home and Professional editions now have the SMB1 server component uninstalled by default. The SMB1 client remains installed. This means you can connect to devices from Windows 10 using SMB1, but nothing can connect to Windows 10 using SMB1. We still recommend you uninstall SMB1 if you are not using it. In a later feature update of Windows 10, we may uninstall SMB1 client if we detect that you are not using it.
-- All Enterprise and Education editions have SMB1 totally uninstalled by default.
-- The removal of SMB1 means the removal of the legacy Computer Browser service. The Computer Browser depends exclusively on SMB1 and cannot function without it.
This change means it may be time to move away from that gear and upgrade to more modern methods of handling that functionality. Although longevity in marriage is a good thing it is not the same for an old protocol like this!
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