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

Another Reminder Why It’s Important to Eliminate Admin Rights

Posted September 27, 2011    Peter McCalister

According to a recent CNET News article, the hacker known as Comodohacker is now threatening to exploit Microsoft’s Windows Update service. This comes on the heels of Microsoft’s misstep of inadvertently offering an early look at the latest Patch Tuesday updates for 15 vulnerabilities in Windows, Office and Server products.

“I’m able to issue Windows update–Microsoft’s statement about Windows Update and that I can’t issue such update is totally false. I already reversed ENTIRE Windows update protocol, how it reads XMLs via SSL which includes URL, KB no, SHA-1 hash of file for each update, how it verifies that downloaded file is signed using WinVerifyTrust API, and…Simply I can issue updates via Windows update!” – Comodohacker.

In 2010, Microsoft published more than 100 security bulletins and provided patches for 256 vulnerabilities and the vast majority of security threats from Microsoft vulnerabilities can be mitigated if users do not have unnecessary admin rights.

While Comodohacker’s claims have not been substantiated at this point, according to Microsoft, only Windows updates that are signed by the Microsoft Root Certificate Authority are allowed to be installed via the Windows update process. Regardless of this threat, this is a stark reminder why it so very important that organizations eliminate admin rights for users.

When you allow your users to run as a local admin, you are opening your enterprise to serious security issues. You may think you’re saving money by allowing this instead of multiple calls to the help desk, but in reality you’re risking much more than money.

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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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