Urgent Microsoft Exchange Vulnerability

Urgent Microsoft Exchange Vulnerability

Microsoft acknowledged on Tuesday 3/2/2021 that there was a series of significant Zero-Day vulnerabilities related to Microsoft Exchange servers and has released an emergency patch that should be applied immediately to mitigate the risks to all organizations.  The vulnerability affects on-premise Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2019.  If you have any of these in your environment, you should apply the emergency patch immediately according to Microsoft.  In addition the Department of Homeland Security has issued a directive to any government agencies to patch and update immediately.

Where is the threat coming from?

At this point in time, Microsoft has identified the group – Hafnium as responsible for the threat and attack.  It is believed that Hafnium is a state-sponsored threat actor based out of China.

How is it spread?

It is believed the threat is spread through 4 separate vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server.  If a server has open connectivity to the Internet through port 443, which is very common, the attackers can take advantage of the vulnerability to gain access to email and data to exfiltrate the information.

How serious is the threat?

The threat is extremely serious in that it allows the attacker to not only get access to the data but also execute commands on the affected servers and related network.  The most significant issue is that most if not all security is not able to detect and prevent this threat as of yet.  Some cybersecurity firms have estimated that over 25% of the systems they have investigated have been affected by the vulnerability.

How do you protect your environment?

It is advised to immediately download and apply the recommended emergency patches from Microsoft.  More information on this particular vulnerability can be found on the Microsoft blog located at –


If you have any questions or need assistance applying these emergency patches –

please call us at 417-334-0494

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