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ProxyShell Exchange Exploitation Now Leads To An Increasing Amount Of Cobaltstrike Backdoors

Posted by Morphisec Labs on August 27, 2021

Morphisec Prevents and Detects Cobaltstrike BackdoorsOn approximately August 21, 2021, security researchers, cybersecurity leaders, and eventually the CISA, began voicing concerns about the inevitable threat of LockFile ransomware attacks on a wide variety of ill-informed and unprepared victims. Threat actors had been caught targeting on-premises Microsoft Exchange servers via ProxyShell vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities have been dubbed, “worse than ProxyLogon”. Patches for these vulnerabilities were made available in April & May, but many servers were still vulnerable. 


That same day, Morphisec Guard, our Zero Trust, Endpoint Protection Platform, successfully detected and prevented the execution of Cobaltstrike beacons, which were delivered via a ProxyShell exploit. Therefore, Morphisec actively protected the exchange servers of our customers.


Below is an example of one of the prevention events:


Cobaltstrike beacons delivered via ProxyShell exploit


Cmd execution:

cmd execution

Cobalt C2:




Morphisec demonstrates the vital nature of a strong prevention strategy for servers. It is our hope that more enterprises will move away from faulty detection-centered strategies and move toward preventative, proactive solutions.



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