Important update for Azure Active Directory Connect – Version 1.1.553.0

Microsoft released Azure Active Directory Connect version 1.1.553.0 on June 26, 2017. More importantly, they published an important security advisory one day later.

Microsoft Security Advisory 4033453 – Vulnerability in Azure AD Connect Could Allow Elevation of Privilege explains,

The [ADD Connect version 1.1.553.0] update addresses a vulnerability that could allow elevation of privilege if Azure AD Connect Password writeback is misconfigured during enablement. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could reset passwords and gain unauthorized access to arbitrary on-premises AD privileged user accounts. The issue is addressed in the latest version (1.1.553.0) of Azure AD Connect by not allowing arbitrary password reset to on-premises AD privileged user accounts.

Microsoft highly recommends all customers update to version 1.1.553.0 or later to mitigate this vulnerability, even if you don’t use the optional password writeback feature. If you are unable to update immediately, the article above describes mitigation steps you can consider.

  • If the AD DS account is a member of one or more on-premises AD privileged groups, consider removing the AD DS account from the groups.
  • If an on-premises AD administrator has previously created Control Access Rights on the adminSDHolder object for the AD DS account which permits Reset Password operation, consider removing it.
  • It may not always be possible to remove existing permissions granted to the AD DS account (for example, the AD DS account relies on the group membership for permissions required for other features such as Password synchronization or Exchange hybrid writeback). Consider creating a DENY ACE on the adminSDHolder object which disallows the AD DS account with Reset Password permission using Windows DSACLS tool.

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End of DirSync and AAD Sync Support

Last week marks the end of support for the legacy synchronization tools which are used to connect on-premises Active Directory to Office 365 and Azure AD.  Specifically Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync are the tools which are transitioning out of support at this time.  Note also that version 1.0  of Azure Active Directory (AAD Connect) is also transitioning of support.  The tools were previously marked as depreciated in April 2016.

The replacement for the older synchronization tools is Azure Active Directory Connect 1.1.  Customers must have this version of AAD Connect deployed. This is the tool which is being actively maintained, and receives updates and fixes.

Azure AD will no longer accept communications from the unsupported tools as of December 31st 2017.

If you do need to upgrade, the relevant documentation is below:

Upgrade from DirSync

Upgrade from Azure AD Sync

Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation 4 April 2017

Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation

Status: Active

Action Required by: April 4, 2017

Details: We will be removing the Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization feature from Office 365, beginning April 4, 2017. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization is using Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization. When this change is implemented, administrators will no longer be able to synchronize their Active Directories. Instead of using Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization, use Azure Active Directory Connect.

Message Center: MC45036 – We are removing Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization from Office 365

Posted: April 13, 2016

Additional Information: Upgrade Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (“DirSync”) and Azure Active Directory Sync (“Azure AD Sync”)

Azure AD Connect Adds Support for Windows Server 2016 and SQL 2016

If you’re a customer who uses Azure Active Directory Connect, you’ll want to know that Microsoft just released version 1.1.343.0, which adds support for Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 and fixes some bugs.

Improvements:
– Added support for installing Azure AD Connect on Windows Server 2016 standard or better.
– Added support for using SQL Server 2016 as the remote database for Azure AD Connect.
– Added support for managing AD FS 2016 using Azure AD Connect.

Fixed issues:
– Sometimes, installing Azure AD Connect fails because it is unable to create a local service account whose password meets the level of complexity specified by the organization’s password policy.
– Fixed an issue where join rules are not re-evaluated when an object in the connector space simultaneously becomes out-of-scope for one join rule and become in-scope for another. This can happen if you have two or more join rules whose join conditions are mutually exclusive.
– Fixed an issue where inbound synchronization rules (from Azure AD) which do not contain join rules are not processed if they have lower precedence values than those containing join rules.