Microsoft releases one-click patch for Exchange vulnerability

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Microsoft has released a one-click patch, the Microsoft Exchange On-Premises Mitigation tool, to help customers apply new security updates in the face of the Exchange Server cyber attack.

This comes after the company released security updates in the wake of the attack, but these fixes were aimed predominantly at large organisations with dedicated IT teams who can handle complex deployments.

The tech giant stated that the one-click patch is aimed at customers who do not have dedicated security or IT teams to apply updates, who may be unfamiliar with the patch/update process or who have not yet applied the on-premises Exchange security update.

In the post, the company writes: “There was a need for a simple, easy to use, automated solution that would meet the needs of customers using both current and out-of-support versions of on-premises Exchange Server.”

Microsoft clarifies that the tool is not a replacement for the Exchange security update but is the fastest and easiest way to mitigate the highest risks to internet-connected, on-premises Exchange Servers prior to patching.

It also underlines that the new tool is effective against the attacks there have been seen so far but says it's not guaranteed to mitigate all possible future attack techniques.

In the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged businesses to patch against the recently disclosed vulnerabilities in Exchange. It advised businesses to install the updates as a “matter of urgency”. An estimated 7,000 UK servers had been affected by the vulnerabilities, of which around half had already been secured.

Furthermore, ESET research found that Microsoft Exchange servers had been targeted by “at least ten hacker groups” and that they had managed to install backdoors on more than 5,000 servers in over 115 countries.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.