March 28, 2016 By Larry Loeb 2 min read

Samba is an open-source implementation of the Server Message Block/Common Internet File System (SMB/CIFS) protocol. It’s used in Windows for network file and printer sharing. Not only that, but Linux and other Unix-like systems can use Samba to work with and share resources with Windows systems. It’s a major data path that many systems rely on, but a recent reveal may put it in jeopardy.

“On April 12, 2016, SerNet, the Samba Team and Microsoft will disclose a severe bug that affects almost all versions of Microsoft Windows and Samba,” SerNet announced on its website. “The bug is called Badlock. Due to the fundamental functions that are affected by the bug, there will be no detailed information prior to the release of fixes by Microsoft and the Samba Team.”

Where Are the Particulars of the SMB Protocol Flaw?

SerNet asked its readers for unconditional trust without presenting corresponding information. It stated that this severe bug was found by a core Samba developer but did not give any further information on what it is exactly or how companies can defend against it.

Are users to now wait attentively for SerNet to reveal more of this impending doom of the SMB protocol? How do we even know that this bug exists in the first place without particulars?

Microsoft hasn’t said anything about the flaw — yet — but it likely would keep quiet until it had a patch ready. As for SerNet, it did add that its developer “notified Microsoft about his findings, and a consecutive strong collaboration led to fixes for both platforms. Patches are currently reviewed and prepared for release, including SerNet’s special SAMBA+ offering.”

Why Do It This Way?

SerNet may have a reason to announce the existence of a vulnerability before releasing the details, but that reason certainly isn’t obvious.

Such a policy only adds to the noise associated with the vulnerability without giving any signal as to the mediation of it. Worse, the simple act of announcement can draw the attention of the cybercrime community, which would unsurprisingly move quickly to act before a patch is released — if they can find out what the flaw is.

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