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Large number of devices still exposing Windows SMB on port 445

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May 17, 2017

It was noted today that there are still a large number of devices and PCs that continue to expose Windows SMB on port 445, in light of last Friday's global WannaCry malware attacks.

The vulnerable Server Message Block (SMB) on a Windows server is central to last week's WannaCrypt outbreak and are still widely deployed and frequently hunted, internet security researchers are warning the web community.

To be sure, internet security firm Rapid7 has discovered over a million PCs and servers that expose the SMB service on port 445.

Of those, more than 800,000 run Windows. Given that those are nodes running on the internet exposing SMB, it's very likely that a large percentage of these are vulnerable versions of Windows with SMB version 1 still enabled on the machine.

Rapid7 asserts that-- "while scanning for PCs and various devices that expose port 445, it has been observed that the volume of scans on the port has increased since last Friday, and a large majority of those scans are specifically looking to exploit MS17-010, the same Windows SMB vulnerability that the WannaCry malware looks to exploit."

The internet security firm, best known for the pen-testing software Metasploit, used web scanning capabilities in Project Sonar and Project Heisenberg to gain insight into the scale of the WannaCrypt security issue.

The research is important because further malware strains or hack attacks based on the same security vulnerability, patched by Microsoft in March but still widely exploitable, are more than likely.

Follow-up attacks may well be less attention grabbing while still posing a severe risk to 'internet hygiene'.

For example, it emerged on Monday that a cryptocurrency miner was surreptitiously using the same MS17-010 vulnerability to create a compromised network days before the spectacular WannaCrypt outbreak created worldwide chaos on May 12.

Source: Rapid7 Internet Security LLC.

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