Microsoft Defender Antivirus Now Automatically Mitigates Exchange Server Vulnerabilities

“Microsoft has implemented an automatic mitigation tool within Defender Antivirus to tackle critical vulnerabilities in Exchange Server,” reports ZDNet:

On March 18, the Redmond giant said the software will automatically mitigate CVE-2021-26855, a severe vulnerability that is being actively exploited in the wild. This vulnerability is one of four that can be used in a wider attack chain to compromise on-premise Exchange servers.

Microsoft released emergency fixes for the security flaws on March 2 and warned that a state-sponsored threat group called Hafnium was actively exploiting the bugs, and since then, tens of thousands of organizations are suspected to have been attacked. At least 10 other advanced persistent threat (APT) groups have jumped on the opportunity slow or fragmented patching has provided.

The implementation of a recent security intelligence update for Microsoft Defender Antivirus and System Center Endpoint Protection means that mitigations will be applied on vulnerable Exchange servers when the software is deployed, without any further input from users. According to the firm, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will automatically identify if a server is vulnerable and apply the mitigation fix once per machine.
The article also points out Microsoft also released a one-click mitigation tool earlier this week, which is “still readily available as an alternative way to mitigate risk to vulnerable servers if IT admins do not have Defender Antivirus.”

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