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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Accident Prone Annie Unintentionally Helps Hacker

Posted December 13, 2011    Peter McCalister

Marriott International Corporation became the latest victim to an interesting twist on an insider attack. According to Dark Reading, a prospective employee named Attila Nemeth, “pilfered sensitive documents from the hotel chain and then attempted to use the stolen intelligence to blackmail it for employment.”

Who would think that blackmailing a potential employer would lead to being hired? The good news is that Nemeth’s attempt clearly showed Marriott that he would not be good fit for a position at their company – especially in the IT department.

This story also highlights, yet again, the antics of Accident Prone Annie. Annie is your typical business user who may be misusing their privileges to do things that are against corporate policy (i.e. downloading software off the web or upgrading applications before IT approves) and wreaking havoc on the help desk. Nemeth was able to access the network by tricking a Marriot employee into opening an infected document or link that installed a backdoor on Marriott’s systems.

Accidental misuse of privilege is commonplace throughout many organizations. Why? Because human nature dictates that we will make mistakes and if your employees are over privileged on their IT resources then that can lead to costly mistakes. This is why we are constantly pushing to implement least privilege solutions: because good people can do bad things intentionally, accidentally and indirectly.

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Additional articles

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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