On January 10, 2023, Microsoft released new Security Updates for Exchange 2013 CU23, Exchange 2016 CU23 and Exchange 2019 CU11 and CU12.
In this Security Update, the following CVEs with severity rating ‘Important’ are fixed:
CVE-2023-21745 - Microsoft Exchange Server Spoofing Vulnerability (Spoofing)
CVE-2023-21761 - Microsoft Exchange Server Information Disclosure Vulnerability (Information disclosure)
CVE-2023-21762 - Microsoft Exchange Server Spoofing Vulnerability (Spoofing)
CVE-2023-21763 - Microsoft Exchange Server Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability (Elevation of privilege)
CVE-2023-21764 - Microsoft Exchange Server Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability (Elevation of privilege)
Besides fixing the CVEs, a new security feature is introduced in this SU as well: PowerShell Serialization Payload Signing. Serialization is the process of converting an object (PowerShell output) into a stream of bytes that can be stored in a file for example. An example of serialization is the Export-Csv command, where an object is converted in plain text that is stored on disk.
To prevent tampering with serialized data, Microsoft has added certificate based signing of PowerShell serialization payloads. The certificate used for signing is the Exchange Auth certificate, a certificate that is created when an Exchange server is installed, and it has a lifetime of five years. There’s one certificate that’s used on all Exchange servers. To manage this certificate, Microsoft has released a new script called ‘MonitorExchangeAuthCertificate.ps1’ that can be used to manage this Auth Certificate. More information about this script and a download location can be found on github: https://microsoft.github.io/CSS-Exchange/Admin/MonitorExchangeAuthCertificate/
Exchange 2013 is out of support as of April 2023 and no more security updates will be released after this date. If you are still running Exchange 2013, make sure you upgrade to Exchange 2019.
Exchange 2016 is out of mainstream support, so no more Cumulative Updates will be released for Exchange 2016. Security updates for Exchange 2016 CU23 will be released until end of extended support is reached in 2025.
Security Updates are cumulative, so they include all previous security updates for this specific CU level.
Security Updates are CU specific, so you cannot mix security updates on various cumulative updates.
Make sure you deploy these security updates as soon as possible, and make sure your Exchange servers are fully patched.
Hybrid servers need to be patched as well. If you don’t have any mailboxes left on your Exchange server, you can stop publishing Exchange to the Internet. This will safeguard you from attacks from the Internet.
As always, test these updates in your test environment before bringing them into production.
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Jaap is a Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. Jaap is an independent consultant, primarily focusing on Exchange server, Skype for Business and Office 365.