CVE-2020-0688: Patch Your Exchange Server(s)

by

March 5, 2020

Just when you thought Coronavirus was all you had to worry about, there’s a new Microsoft Exchange Server exploit!

Called CVE-2020-0688, the exploit uses a flaw where on-premise Exchange Servers fail to create unique cryptographic keys at the time of installation. According to Microsoft the exploit gives anyone with access to a mailbox stored by an on-premise Exchange server “to pass arbitrary objects to be deserialized by the web application, which runs as SYSTEM.”

So, for us the rest of us, who have almost no clue what that means, basically if someone stalking your organization gains access to a working email address and password that’s stored on your Exchange server, they’ll be able to remotely execute code, and possibly take it over.

The attacker could be in a position to uncover sensitive corporate information or even falsify communications. Not good.

What’s the Solution?

Head for the hills! No, no, no. Don’t do that. It’s a really easy solution. If you don’t have an on-premise Exchange server then mazel tov! You’re saved!

If you DO have an on-premise Exchange Server make sure it’s patched. Simple as that.

Integris highly recommends that you take the time to patch your Exchange Server to avoid CVE-2020-0688 from becoming a worse problem than it is. The patch that handles this CVE was released back in February so time’s a waisting if you haven’t done it yet.

If you want more information about CVE-2020-0688 you can find it here:

  • https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2020-0688
  • https://practical365.com/exchange-server/why-exchange-admins-should-be-very-worried/
  • https://www.thezdi.com/blog/2020/2/24/cve-2020-0688-remote-code-execution-on-microsoft-exchange-server-through-fixed-cryptographic-keys

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Carl Keyser is the Content Manager at Integris.

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