Remote PowerShell for Exchange Online Ending This Month

Microsoft is pulling the plug on RPS for Exchange Online after more than a year of advance notice.

Microsoft on Monday announced that it will turn off Remote PowerShell Protocol (RPS) for Exchange Online, starting as early as Oct. 3, 2023 for its worldwide service customers.

Organizations cannot opt out and continue to use RPS for Exchange Online. However, they will get a "Service Health Notification in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center" portal when the service has been discontinued for their tenancy.

Microsoft also plans to turn off RPS for Exchange Online for its "sovereign cloud customers," which is planned for some time this month.

Instead of using RPS for Exchange Online, Microsoft is recommending the use of the Exchange Online PowerShell version 3 module. It uses REST-based APIs and a different parameter for connections, the announcement explained:

When creating a session, use Connect-ExchangeOnline. Using the UseRPSSession parameter or any older version of the PowerShell modules with New-PSSession will no longer work.

Microsoft gave advanced notice that it was planning to end RPS use with Exchange Online more than a year ago. Back then, Microsoft had projected that Exchange Online customers would not be able to use RPS after July 1, 2023, but it later accelerated the schedule for new tenancies, saying RPS would get blocked for them on April 1, 2023.

Microsoft's various deprecation announcements caused drops in RPS use with Exchange Online, the announcement indicated, so it's now taking action to block RPS.

Microsoft is ending RPS for Exchange Online for security reasons, as it uses Basic Authentication (user name plus password), which is subject to "password spray" attacks (guessing commonly used passwords across an organization). Basic Authentication also lacks support for multifactor authentication, a secondary means of verifying a user's identity.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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