The Microsoft Exchange mail server experiences an ‘Effect 2022’: the turn of the year has paralyzed the delivery of e-mails


It is possible that you have attributed the lack of emails in your Inbox to the festive dates in which we are, but if your e-mail server works with Microsoft Exchange (as will be the case with many corporate email accounts), probably the explanation is that you are being the victim of a strange bug due to the change of year.

As recognized by Microsoft, the MS Exchange antispam and antimalware engine (FIP-FS, activated by default in the installations of said platform since its version 2013) you get an error processing the date since midnight yesterday, so millions of emails are being paralyzed on the servers, without forwarding to their recipients.

Joseph Roosen, Cybersecurity Researcher – as well as MS Exchange Administrator – he claimed This problem is due to the fact that Microsoft developers decided to store the date value in A variable int32 whose maximum value is 2,147,483,647

… and yet they did in such a way that the smallest of the dates corresponding to this year had to occupy a minimum value of ‘2,201,010,001’ (that is, using the last three digits to store the day and the previous three for the month).

I worked on December 31, 1999 at 11:59 p.m.

A strange decision that now causes the FIP-FS engine not able to understand the date of the emails.

Possible solutions to the problem

Microsoft has confirmed that it is already working on a patch To fix this problem in the 2016 and 2019 versions of Microsoft Exchange, which has no release date for now. As explained by Microsoft,

“Our engineers were working around the clock on a solution that would eliminate the need for customer action, but we determined that any patch that did not involve such action would require several days to develop and roll out. So we are working on another update, which validation is now in its final testing phase. “

However, companies that return to work tomorrow and need to be able to send and receive their emails must resort to temporary deactivation of the FIP-FS engine. Fortunately, this solution (which should not be taken lightly due to the danger of malicious emails reaching users) is easy to implement.

Just run the following PowerShell commands en Exchange Server:

Set-MalwareFilteringServer -Identity -BypassFiltering $true

Restart-Service MSExchangeTransport

And, after restarting the service MSExchangeTransport, the mail will be forwarded to users again. Hopefully there are no new New Years scares in the short term.… at least not before it is time to face Effect 2038.


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