A server computer acts as a central hub to any organization’s IT infrastructure. It is the core that all other computers are connected to, and stores and shares information among them. Much like personal computers, servers rely on operating systems and programs to carry out their functions. One of such software, called SMBv1, has been identified as a security vulnerability in today’s cyberworld.

SMBv1 is short for Server Message Block Version 1. It is a file sharing protocol developed in the 1980s, and was adopted by Microsoft in the 1990s as a method of sharing files across devices such as printers.

In 2008, the second version of the message block, SMBv2, was released alongside Windows Server 2008. Following this, version 3 was released in 2012 along with Windows Server 2012. Due to its age, SMBv1 was deemed obsolete by Microsoft in 2014.

While SMBv1 is no longer offered as preinstalled software in current Microsoft system offerings, it can still be installed onto current systems, as some old servers are still running on the software. However, Microsoft highly discourages this, as its age has caused it to become a security vulnerability. In fact, a critical vulnerability in SMBv1 had to be repaired with an emergency update on May 12th, 2017 by Microsoft.

This was not the only SMBv1 incident in recent years. On September 13th 2016, Microsoft had to release an emergency patch repairing a security vulnerability in its software which allowed cyberattackers to remotely execute code on computers running SMBv1. Three days later, Principle Program Manager Ned Pyle of Microsoft advised all users to upgrade away from SMBv1, after discovering that sensitive data could be stolen through it.

How do you protect yourself?

As has been demonstrated by numerous security incidents in the past few years, SMBv1 simply is not a secure protocol to be using in 2019. This is unsurprising as well, given that the software was written over 30 years ago. However, this highlights the importance of using computer software that is up-to-date, as lack of support will often result in security vulnerabilities that will leave your data unprotected. Do not fall victim to cyberattack. Call us at +1 888 366 4443 for more information on how to keep yourself safe!