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Businesses using Exchange Server for their messaging could be at risk

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October 17, 2016

Company employees logging into Microsoft's Exchange Server through a popular app could have placed their enterprise messaging credentials at risk through a security vulnerability in the system.

The Nine app which has clocked up to a million downloads on the Google Play store would display Microsoft Outlook login credentials over insecure connections due to a security flaw that failed to validate SSL encryption technology.

To be sure, Rapid7 Labs director Derek Abdine discovered and reported the security vulnerability to the app's creator 9FoldersInc and U.S. CERT about six weeks ago.

The app creator issued a fix on October 13 disclosing the man-in-the-middle hole in its advisory update.

The most likely venue to be exploited would be at public hotspots. Security compromise is also possible if users have push notifications active while on the same network as an attacker.

It would follow that criminals could have gained access to Exchange Server inboxes, calendars, and various user tasks.

Rapid 7 senior security researcher Tod Beardsley said attackers could have set up rogue networks to target users running the app.

"Due to a lack of SSL certificate validation with a configured remote Microsoft Exchange server, the Nine app leaks associated Microsoft Exchange user credentials, mail envelopes and their attachments, mailbox synchronisation information as well as calendar entries and tasks," Beardsley asserted.

"This issue presents itself regardless of SSL and/or TLS trust settings within the 'Nine Server' settings panel."

Attacks are unlikely but should serve as a warning for those using third-party apps to access corporate credentials.

Beardsley says that system admins can find MUA strings prepended with "Nine-" in ActiveSync logs to determine which users in questions are in fact running the app on their mobile devices.

Source: Rapid7 Internet Security.

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