Detecting HAFNIUM and Exchange Zero-Day Activity


The Chinese hacking group, which Microsoft calls Hafnium, appears to have been breaking into private and government computer networks through the company’s popular Exchange email software for a number of months.

Microsoft Exchange Server Cyberattack Timeline

  • Microsoft released an updated script that scans Exchange log files for indicators of compromise (IOCs) associated with the vulnerabilities. Source: Microsoft, March 7, 2021.
  • The White House urged computer network operators to take further steps to gauge whether their systems were targeted amid a hack of Microsoft’s email program, saying a recent software patch still left serious vulnerabilities. Source: Reuters, March 7, 2021.
  • The hack has impacted at least 60,000 Microsoft customers worldwide. Source: Bloomberg, March 7, 2021.

Credits : Research by ExecuteMalware

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)

Source TypeURI PathEvent ID / MessageFile TypesProcess Name
IIS / Exchange OWA server./owa/auth/Current/themes/resources/*4104 / Invoke-PowerShellTCP*
4688 / powershell.exe
4104 / powercat*
*.php” OR Object_Name=”*.jsp” OR Object_Name=”*.js” OR Object_Name=”*.aspx” OR Object_Name=”*.asmx” OR Object_Name=”*.cfm” OR Object_Name=”*.shtml
C:\\ProgramData\\*.rar” OR TargetFilename=”C:\\ProgramData\\*.zip” OR TargetFilename=”C:\\ProgramData\\*.7z
umworkerprocess.exe*” OR Process_Name=”*UMService.exe*
Possible Indicators for correlation rule

If you havent patched yet , use above indicators to create a better rules in your SIEM for faster detection and block the external IP’s.

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Balaganesh is a Incident Responder. Certified Ethical Hacker, Penetration Tester, Security blogger, Founder & Author of Soc Investigation.


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