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Exchange 2003 SMTP security lockdown procedures

Posted on 2007-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Im using Small Business Server for exchange 2003 mail management.

Periodocially i find that my server is being used to relay messages by spammers.

Is there a consise checklist of security steps i should follow?


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Question by:mbalsam
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Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 18788341
Exchange 2003 is relay secure out of the box, so something has been changed.

There are three main ways that an Exchange server can be abused...

- configuration error on the SMTP virtual server or SMTP Connector turns the machine in to an open relay

- authenticated relaying - where the administrator password has been compromised and is being used to allow messages to be sent through the server.

- NDR spam - this is where messages are sent to your server with invalid email addresses on purpose. Your server then tries to bounce them back to the "sender" - who is spoofed and is the real target.

For NDR spam you should deploy recipient filtering and the tarpit.
http://www.amset.info/exchange/filter-unknown.asp

For authenticated user relaying, you need to look at changing the settings.
http://www.amset.info/exchange/smtp-relaysecure.asp

Finally, for checking whether the machine is an open relay, see my article here:
http://www.amset.info/exchange/smtp-openrelay.asp

Simon.
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