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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.

APT Vehicle of Choice: The Accidental Insider

Posted March 5, 2012    Peter McCalister

APT is the buzzword everyone is using. Companies are concerned about it, the government is being compromised by it, and consultants are using it in every presentation they give. But people fail to realize that the vulnerabilities these threats compromise are the insider — not the malicious insider, but the accidental insider who clicks on the wrong link.Dr. Eric Cole, Cyber Security Expert

One of most talked about topics at the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco was Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). While APT is the latest hot topic involving security, one aspect that has received little visibility is its relationship to privileged identity management.

Any weakness in your infrastructure that allows an attacker to access a system will give him or her opportunity to find another weakness and eventually get the keys to the kingdom – privileged access to a critical server or database with sensitive information.

Look no further than the RSA security breach that occurred early last year. Hackers gained network access through the HR department by sending bogus emails to RSA employees with the subject, “2011 Recruiting Plan.” Because RSA failed to implement a least privilege solution, accidental insiders at the company helped hackers hijack credentials to steal sensitive information.

Accidental insiders are unfortunately commonplace throughout many organizations. Why? Because human nature dictates that we will make mistakes. What’s needed is a comprehensive program to protect privileged access. The tradeoffs everyone has historically made to allow some level of risk no longer apply. Even something as simple as the accidental misconfiguration of a desktop PC can be the weakness a sophisticated attacker uses to gain the access they need to the privileged credentials of a systems or database admin.

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Additional articles

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A Quick Look at MS14-068

Posted November 20, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft recently released an out of band patch for Kerberos.  Taking a look at the Microsoft security bulletin, it seems like there is some kind of issue with Kerberos signatures related to tickets. Further information is available in the Microsoft SRD Blogpost So it looks like there is an issue with PAC signatures.  But what…

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Password Game Show

Managing Shared Accounts for Privileged Users: 5 Best Practices for Achieving Control and Accountability

Posted November 20, 2014    Scott Lang

How do organizations ensure accountability of shared privileged accounts to meet compliance and security requirements without impacting administrator productivity? Consider these five best practices…

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Triggering MS14-066

Triggering MS14-066

Posted November 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft addressed CVE-2014-6321 this Patch Tuesday, which has been hyped as the next Heartbleed.  This vulnerability (actually at least 2 vulnerabilities) promises remote code execution in applications that use the SChannel Security Service Provider, such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). The details have been scarce.  Lets fix that. Looking at the bindiff of schannel.dll, we see a…

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