Ensure 'Microsoft network client: Digitally sign communications (if server agrees)' is set to 'Enabled'


This policy setting determines whether the SMB client will attempt to negotiate SMB packet signing.

Note: Enabling this policy setting on SMB clients on your network makes them fully effective for packet signing with all clients and servers in your environment.

The recommended state for this setting is: Enabled.


Session hijacking uses tools that allow attackers who have access to the same network as the client or server to interrupt, end, or steal a session in progress. Attackers can potentially intercept and modify unsigned SMB packets and then modify the traffic and forward it so that the server might perform undesirable actions. Alternatively, the attacker could pose as the server or client after legitimate authentication and gain unauthorized access to data.

SMB is the resource sharing protocol that is supported by many Windows operating systems. It is the basis of NetBIOS and many other protocols. SMB signatures authenticate both users and the servers that host the data. If either side fails the authentication process, data transmission will not take place.


None - this is the default behavior.

The Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista implementations of the SMB file and print sharing protocol support mutual authentication, which prevents session hijacking attacks and supports message authentication to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. SMB signing provides this authentication by placing a digital signature into each SMB, which is then verified by both the client and the server.

Implementation of SMB signing may negatively affect performance, because each packet needs to be signed and verified. If these settings are enabled on a server that is performing multiple roles, such as a small business server that is serving as a Domain Controller, file server, print server, and application server performance may be substantially slowed. Additionally, if you configure computers to ignore all unsigned SMB communications, older applications and operating systems will not be able to connect. However, if you completely disable all SMB signing, computers will be vulnerable to session hijacking attacks.

When SMB signing policies are enabled on Domain Controllers running Windows Server 2003 and member computers running Windows Vista SP1 or Windows Server 2008 group policy processing will fail. A hotfix is available from Microsoft that resolves this issue; see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 950876 for more details: Group Policy settings are not applied on member computers that are running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista SP1 when certain SMB signing policies are enabled.


To establish the recommended configuration, set the following Device Configuration Policy to Enabled:

To access the Device Configuration Policy from the Intune Home page:

Click Devices

Click Configuration profiles

Click Create profile

Select the platform (Windows 10 and later)

Select the profile (Custom)

Enter a Name

Click Add

Enter the Details below

Name: <Enter name>
Description: <Enter Description>
OMA-URI: ./Device/Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/LocalPoliciesSecurityOptions/MicrosoftNetworkClient_DigitallySignCommunicationsIfServerAgrees
Data type: Integer
Value: 1

Select Save

Continue through the Wizard to complete the creation of the profile (profile assignments, applicability etc.)

Note: More than one configuration setting from each of the Configuration profiles (ex: Administrative Templates, Custom etc.) can be added to each Device Configuration Policy.

Note #2 This recommendation cannot be set via the Endpoint protection profile using Local device security options/Microsoft Network Client settings due to the only available option of Blocked.

Default Value:

Enabled. (The Microsoft network client will ask the server to perform SMB packet signing upon session setup. If packet signing has been enabled on the server, packet signing will be negotiated.)

See Also