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#Microsoft Windows Server and SMB Protocol #Winserv #WindowsServer2022

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Server Message Block (SMB)

The Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol is a network file sharing protocol, and as implemented in Microsoft Windows is known as Microsoft SMB Protocol. The set of message packets that defines a particular version of the protocol is called a dialect. The Common Internet File System (CIFS) Protocol is a dialect of SMB. Both SMB and CIFS are also available on VMS, several versions of Unix, and other operating systems.
Here you can see the versions of MS-CIFS and download free white papers

Today SMBv1 is a not save protocol and will be used by hackers for man in the middle attacks to compromise your data and systems. SMBv1 is a weak protocol and should not be used in your environment. There are still a lot of Windows Servers 2012 R2 in the world running in datacenters with SMBv1 by Default enabled. To make your Windows Server more secure, you can disable SMBv1 protocol via a Group Policy Object (GPO).

In the following steps we will disable SMBv1 on Windows Servers via GPO.

Open Group Policy Management in your Domain.

Click on Group Policy Object with your right mouse button.
Click on New.

Give your policy a Name.

I made also an temporary Exception policy.

Right click on your new Policy Object.
Click on Edit.

Go to Computer Configuration => Preferences => Windows Settings
Click on Registry.

Click on New and then on Registry Item.

Here you have to add the following Registry Properties:

Set these settings.

Set Path: HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters

Click on Apply for these Registry settings.

SMBv1 Disable setting is set in the Policy Object.

This is the path where we push the policy via GPO.

Here we Link the Existing GPO to the OU with the Windows Server 2012 R2
to disable SMBv1 Protocol.

Select your new Policy to disable SMBv1 Protocol.

We have now Linked the new GPO to Disable SMBv1

GPUpdate /force on your Server to disable SMBv1
To get the new GPO active on your Server.

Policy Update successfully.

GPResult /r to see the results.

Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB1Protocol

or

Get-SmbServerConfiguration

You can still as a administrator enable SMBv1 on your Server with :

Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $true

When the Server gets a reboot, SMBv1 will be disabled by GPO again.

When you have maintenance window for updates for example, you can un-install the SMBv1 Feature in Server Manager. This procedure needs a restart of the Windows Server.

Go to Server Manager remove features.

Click on Remove Roles and Features.

Remove the mark at SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support Feature.

Click on Remove.

Click on Close and Reboot the Server

Now SMBv1 protocol on the Windows Server is disabled and will use a higher version of SMB like version 2.x or 3.x.

More Microsoft information can be found here on Docs.

SMB over QUIC on Windows Server 2022

SMB over QUIC introduces an alternative to the TCP network transport, providing secure, reliable connectivity to edge file servers over untrusted networks like the Internet. QUIC is an IETF-standardized protocol with many benefits when compared with TCP:

  • All packets are always encrypted and handshake is authenticated with TLS 1.3
  • Parallel streams of reliable and unreliable application data
  • Exchanges application data in the first round trip (0-RTT)
  • Improved congestion control and loss recovery
  • Survives a change in the clients IP address or port

SMB over QUIC offers an “SMB VPN” for telecommuters, mobile device users, and high security organizations. The server certificate creates a TLS 1.3-encrypted tunnel over the internet-friendly UDP port 443 instead of the legacy TCP port 445. All SMB traffic, including authentication and authorization within the tunnel is never exposed to the underlying network. SMB behaves normally within the QUIC tunnel, meaning the user experience doesn’t change. SMB features like multichannel, signing, compression, continuous availability, directory leasing, and so on, work normally.

Client Server Handshake and Data transfer differences.

Here you find a Great blogpost of Ned Pyle

SMB over QUIC: Files Without the VPN

Conclusion

When you still have Windows Servers running with SMBv1 by default enabled, for security you should disable SMBv1 protocol as soon as possible! Otherwise you make it easy for hackers to compromise your data with man in the middle attacks. In Windows Server 2019 and higher SMBv1 is disabled by default. Have a look at SMB over QUIC in your test environment and learn how secure it is and how it works for your security and data.

Author: James van den Berg

I'm Microsoft Architect and ICT Specialist and Microsoft MVP Cloud and Datacenter Management Microsoft MVP Windows Insider Microsoft Tech Community Insider Microsoft Azure Advisor

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