What are the common attack vectors for a Microsoft Exchange Server?

My online searches only yield discussion into various APT groups, and technical write-ups of different 0day exploits. There does not seem to be an OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities, nor any threats that appear to be commonly used.

Unless it is a common attack vector, side channel attacks (those involving measurements like timing) are outside the scope of my question.

This is not for academic research, so anything even partially reputable will be fine.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server is THE common attack vector for the corporate networks.
    – fraxinus
    Apr 21 at 5:53
  • The question is undefined. On-prem? Cloud? The binary itself? How are you defining "common"? How do you differentiate between Exchange and IIS? This is sounding like, and this perception is backed up by your bounty comment, that you are asking "how do I hack Exchange?". That's too undefined to answer.
    – schroeder
    Jun 9 at 7:27

2 Answers 2


Perhaps this article by CISA can help you. The article pertains to on-premises Exchange deployments vs cloud.


  • I appreciate the link, but this seems to focus more on a specific attack. I was just looking for the most common attack vectors used against Microsoft Exchange Server.
    – questioner
    Apr 21 at 10:38
  • This is a link-only answer. Please include the relevant parts of the link in your answer.
    – schroeder
    Jun 9 at 7:25

The Microsoft exchange server is basically an MTA (Mail Transfer Agent), you can find all the relevant information of the supported protocols on Exchange Server Protocol Documents. In general MTAs have exposed SMTP and POP3 and IMAP protocols, and those are the relevant common attack vectors for MTAs.

Hope it helps

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