TrueNAS and Windows clients – NTLMv2 issues

Situation – TrueNAS (or FreeNAS, or other Samba servers) serving a SMB share with NTLMv1 authentication disabled. A standalone Windows 10 system can connect to it, but a domain joined Win 10 system constantly claims wrong password.

The culprit here was a old group policy setting in the domain:

Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level

(found in Computer Configuration - Windows Settings - Security Settings - Local Policies - Security Options)

This was set to Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated, for backwards compatibility reasons with Win 2000 boxes and the like. This affects the registry key lmcompatibilitylevel (setting it to 1) under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa.

Unfortunately this is a bit misleading. According to this article:

Security Watch: The Most Misunderstood Windows Security Setting of All Time

This should negotiate better session security if possible, but does not actually send NTLMv2 requests or responses.

Thus trying to connect to a TrueNAS SMB share fails unless NTLMv1 Auth is explicitly enabled (in the service settings).

Ideally the group policy should be removed and the normal setting restored (NTLMv2 only). Or we can enable NTLMv1 on the share if it isn’t going to be a permanent setup.