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RE: RPC over HTTPS security risks
From: <adisegna () siscocorp com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 12:37:13 -0500

I had the same issues myself.  It's very hard to give in and allow the
common folk USERS access to your mail server from the outside world. I
debated the scenario a lot before I gave in. In any case, it's
inevitable with today's road warriors.

The proper way to set this up is with a Front-End Exchange server in a
DMZ connected through ISA server into the internal Back-End Exchange
server. However, not all of us have the luxury of this solution.

The combination of things that need to happen in order for this to work
successfully are (without going into too much detail):

Proper training of the USERS: 
        Explain the need for updated virus protection on their home or
roving machines.
        Explain Window Update and tell them to use it.
        Explain the fact that when accessing webmail from a public
computer there is a     chance that keyloggers and other malicious
software could be installed.
        Explain the need to shut down all instances of the browser when
finished checking       email. OWA doesn't use cookies so closing the
browser is all that is needed to log    off.
        Just because they write down their passwords on a sticky note
and put them    under their keyboard at work doesn't mean they can do it
on the road too. This is        no longer an acceptable practice. 

Server Side
        Use SSL on the Server for everything exchange (public folders).
        Allow port 443 and 25 to enter the machine. There is no need for
port 80 to be   open. 
        Use software like Symantec AntiVirus for Exchange or something
similar to protect      the inboxes.
        Restrict the number of recipients that one user can send to.
        Limit sending and receiving sizes to something manageable
        Limit the number of connections
        Create a mailbox quota to prohibit send and receive when mailbox
limit has been  reached. 
        Keep up on the spam rules and block most attachments.
        Windows update of course. 
        Be consistent with checking the logs
        Tweak IIS lock down to prevent any unwanted commands from being
past to the 

Don't trust the user to do the right thing. Lock the down the server the
best you can. 



-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Hanekamp [mailto:thanekamp () gmail com] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 2:44 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RPC over HTTPS security risks

We have begun to implement RPC over HTTPS for Exchange 2003 at our
corporate office.  Before rolling this service out to our users, who
then could possibly start using it on their home computers, which
could easily be insecured, we are trying to evaluate the possible
security threats that this poses.

It would seem that if someone were able to own a machine that had this
configured on it, it would be fairly easy for them to use the exchange
server as a relay for mail and/or completely flood the system with
viruses, especially if the computer were infected with a virus.

Do you think this would be the case, and, if so, what measures do you
think could be taken in order to mitigate this risk.  The only thing
we could come up with so far was requiring these clients to use
digital certificates and only install these certificates on machines
that have been inspected and will be used in the proper setting (not
that we could ever really be certain of the latter idea).


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