SharePoint installation can put Exchange at risk

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SharePoint installation can put Exchange at risk

Microsoft has warned that installation of the Windows SharePoint Services collaboration and information sharing add-on to Windows Server 2003 can expose Exchange Server 2003 mailboxes on the same server.

Installing SharePoint Services will disable Kerberos authentication and instead select Windows NT LAN Manager authentication. This can adversely affect Outlook Web Access (OWA), and users logging into OWA could be logged into another user's mailbox at random.

Microsoft recommends users run Exchange 2003 with Kerberos - Kerberos is a method of authenticating a request for a service in a computer network - enabled for security purposes. Kerberos is enabled by default in Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, but a spokesman could not explain why SharePoint Services disables Kerberos.

.Microsoft has published two online support articles at: http://support.microsoft.com/?id=832769 and http://support.microsoft.com/?id=832749 which detail the problem and instruct users how to correct and avoid this issue. Microsoft product support also is helping customers who have problems, the company said.

Microsoft has not yet decided whether it will issue a patch to fix this problem. If it issues a patch for Exchange Server 2003 it would be the first for the e-mail server product since its launch last month. The Windows SharePoint Services add-on to Windows Server 2003 also was released in October. 

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service


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