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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

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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