Finding the Leaks

of the common vulnerabilities we find when performing internal network
penetration testing is sensitive data on open SMB file shares.  Now, by “open” I am including both
unauthenticated as well as file shares that allow any authenticated user.  It certainly makes sense for organizations to
have file shares that are accessible to all employees for non-sensitive
information, however, this has to be monitored as users are not always as
careful with sensitive information as they should be.  For example, I remember performing an
internal network penetration test for an organization that we had previously
tested a year before.  We were using
Nessus to scan the systems in scope of the test and discovered, as the year
prior, that many open file shares existed. 
When discussing this with one of the employees on the Information
Security team, I was informed that they were unable to fix many of the issues
identified in the previous penetration test because the report was considered
to sensitive to share.  The ironic part
is, one of the open shares we discovered had the previous year’s penetration
testing report on it, accessible to anyone to any authenticated user on their
are many tools that provide the ability to identify open SMB file shares.  The default configuration of Nessus will
identify SMB file shares that do not require any authentication. 
providing Nessus with a valid domain user account, it can search for file
shares that are accessible to any authenticated user.  The account should be one that is used
specifically to perform the scanning, and should be setup as a typical new user
account, but without any departmental specific access. 
has a module that can be utilized for scanning SMB file shares.  The module is auxiliary/scanner/smb/smb_enumshares, which also supports searching
SMB file shares with or without user account credentials.  In the example below, I have set RHOSTS to the IP address of my test
server, SMBUser is the user name for
my test account, and SMBPass is the
password for that account.

    set RHOSTS
    set SMBUser testuser
    set SMBPass password1

everything is set, the exploit
command starts off the module and searches for open SMB file shares, as shown
you are a big fan of Nmap, as I am, you can also use it to search for open SMB
file shares by using the smb-enum-shares.nse
nmap script.  To perform the scan with
user credentials, just add the smbuser and
smbpass script arguments. 

nmap –script smb-enum-shares -p445 –script-args

output from Nmap reveals all of the enumerated SMB file shares for this host,
but also provides something a bit more – the access to the file share.
is why Nmap is my favorite tool to find open SMB file shares.  Finding a SMB file share with READ access
gives us the opportunity to search for sensitive information.  However, having WRITE access to an openly
accessible SMB file share is a great way for attackers to store and distribute
the script doesn’t support a Grepable format that includes the actual SMB share
names and access.  However, that won’t
stop us as we can use grep to extract
what we need out of the normal format. 
The command line below will extract the SMB file shares with READ
access, accessible with our testuser
account, excluding SMB shares that are not actually file shares. 

-v “<not a file share>” smb-shares.nmap | grep -B 2 “(‘testuser’)
access: READ”

extract the SMB shares with anonymous access just needs a minor change.

-v “<not a file share>” smb-shares.nmap | grep -B 2 “Annonymous
access: READ”

for open SMB file shares is something that every organization should be doing
on a regular basis.  Each file share
should be restricted based on least privilege access, meaning only those that
need access have it, and only have the level of access required (e.g. Read vs.
Write).  File shares that need to be
accessible to the entire organization should have a default access of READ, and require users to be authenticated, using groups to permit and restrict WRITE
access.  Once a baseline is established
of all the file shares in the organization, it’s easier to validate subsequent
scans to help identify new file shares that are not properly restricted.
a list of open SMB file shares is identified, it’s then possible to utilize
tools such as OpenDLP or Cornell’s Spider to search for information that is
considered sensitive.  OpenDLP is
available on Google Code at http// and Cornell’s
Spider tool can be found at
Tony DeLaGrange is a Senior
Security Consultant with Secure Ideas.  If you are in need of a
penetration test or other security consulting services you can contact him at or visit the 
Secure Ideas – Professionally Evil site for services provided.

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