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Exchange internal Receive connectors must not allow anonymous connections.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-259622 EX19-ED-000136 SV-259622r942180_rule Medium
This control is used to limit the servers that may use this server as a relay. If a Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) sender does not have a direct connection to the internet (for example, an application that produces reports to be emailed), it will need to use an SMTP Receive connector that does have a path to the internet (for example, a local email server) as a relay. SMTP relay functions must be protected so third parties are not able to hijack a relay service for their own purposes. Most commonly, relay hijacking is done by spammers to disguise the source of their messages and may also be used to cover the source of more destructive attacks. Relays can be restricted in one of three ways: by blocking relays (restrict to a blank list of servers); by restricting use to lists of valid servers; or by restricting use to servers that can authenticate. Because authenticated connections are the most secure for SMTP Receive connectors, it is recommended that relays allow only servers that can authenticate.
Microsoft Exchange 2019 Edge Server Security Technical Implementation Guide 2024-01-10


Check Text ( C-63361r942178_chk )
Open the Exchange Management Shell and enter the following command:

Get-ReceiveConnector | Select-Object -Property Name, Identity, PermissionGroups |Format-List

For each Receive connector, if the value of "PermissionGroups" is "AnonymousUsers" for any noninternet connector, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-63269r942179_fix)
Open the Exchange Management Shell and enter the following command:

Set-ReceiveConnector -Identity <'IdentityName'> -PermissionGroups 'valid user group(s)'

Note: The value and user group(s) must be in quotes.

Example for user groups only: 'ExchangeServers, ExchangeUsers'

Repeat the procedures for each Receive connector.

This is an example only: Set-ReceiveConnector -Identity <'IdentityName'> -PermissionGroups 'ExchangeUsers'