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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

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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