The number of organizations breached via four zero-day bugs in Microsoft Exchange has reached 30,000 and climbing, thanks to automated scanning and scripting techniques used by attackers.

According to sources that spoke to SC Media, adversaries in late February leveraged automated scanning capabilities in order to identify Exchange users who were vulnerable to the exploit. The number of hacks at first were limited, but once Microsoft made the zero-days public last Tuesday and issued emergency patches, malicious actors implemented a script that enabled them to launch the massive automated hack.

The lesson here: malicious actors continue to leverage the combination of automated scanners and scripts to strategically rack up high victim counts, especially when they sense time to inflict damage before patching is running out.

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