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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.

Barracuda Breach and Privileged Users

Posted April 25, 2011    Peter McCalister

As technology continues to develop and expand, it’s an unfortunate reality that sensitive information is becoming decreasingly safe. While this isn’t new news (data breaches are becoming as common as a morning bowl of cheerios), for some reason companies aren’t heeding these devastating warning signs. At least Barracuda didn’t.

Here’s what happened: A hacker, dubbed “fdf,” posted screenshots of Barracuda employees, partners, and customer credentials that were obtained through an SQL injection of their Web page. Chris Wysopal, CTO at Veracode, offered more information about it, including that, “Barracuda employee password hashes were disclosed to the attackers. It is likely that many of these will be cracked swiftly and that some of these passwords give other access within Barracuda, perhaps through reuse.”

Let’s take a minute to think about how this happened, or how any security breach happens. The simple answer is that someone who should not have had access to sensitive information did. Honestly ask yourself these questions: if this happened in your organization, would you know who to question? Do you know everyone who has admin rights? Or whose passwords can grant access to high-level tasks? Do you have a way to monitor who is accessing what and when?

This breach highlights the importance of accountability. In each of our enterprises, we must know who operates with privileged user rights and how their actions can affect the security of sensitive information. Could you answer all of the above questions? Or are there holes in the security of your company? Addressing the internal misuse of privilege is no longer a nice-to-have: it’s a need-to-have. And if it’s not something that’s currently a priority in your enterprise, now is the time to make it one.

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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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