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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.

Batchwiper: How I Learned to Worry Less and Love Least Privilege Security

Posted December 19, 2012    BeyondTrust Research Team

With news coming from Iran’s CERT of a nasty (but not really nasty) new piece of malware designed to wipe drives and desktop contents on a specific date, we took the straightforward approach of examining what common, easily implemented security best practices could have stopped Batchwiper in its tracks…

As far as malware goes, Batchwiper is very rudimentary in its execution and capabilities, yet it still has the capacity to cause damage – so how might someone defend themselves from Batchwiper? Simple: run with least privileges. Running as non-administrator effectively neutralizes the dropper component of Batchwiper, specifically GrooveMonitor.exe (MD5 – f3dd76477e16e26571f8c64a7fd4a97b). The dropper is a self-extracting archive, which attempts to put files in the \WINDOWS\system32\ folder. If you’re running as non-admin, the dropper has no permissions to write to that location and the malware will simply fail to execute its intended payloads.

Batchwiper stymied by least privilege.

Least privilege defeats Batchwiper dropper.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a corporate IT environment that does not properly manage Administrative privileges, then the dropper will continue to execute by spawning a series of processes. This eventually leads to Batchwiper formatting drives D through I, performing a Disk Check on each drive (possibly to mask the cause of the data loss), and then deleting the current user profile’s desktop contents.

Batchwiper process list.

Batchwiper processes spawned by dropper.

This malware serves as another example in a long line of threats that are, in most cases, completely (if not severely) mitigated by good security configuration best practices such as practicing Least Privilege.

BeyondTrust has been at the forefront of championing the cause of Least Privilege for quite some time through our BeyondTrust PowerBroker solutions for both Windows and Unix/Linux. Customers leveraging BeyondTrust’s PowerBroker for Windows will mitigate a large majority of malware that affects companies on a day-to-day basis, including this recent Batchwiper malware. You can find out more about our Least Privilege solutions here: http://www.beyondtrust.com/Products/PowerBrokerForWindows/

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PBPS-screenshot-blog aug2014

Failing the Security Basics: Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware

Posted August 22, 2014    Marc Maiffret

At the beginning of this month, US-CERT issued a security alert relating to a string of breaches that had been targeting Point of Sale (POS) systems. The alert details that attackers were leveraging brute forcing tools to target common remote desktop applications such as Microsoft’s Remote Desktop, Apple Remote Desktop, Splashtop and LogMeIn among others….

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Troubleshooting Windows Privilege Management Rules with Policy Monitor

Posted August 21, 2014    Jason Silva

When defining and testing PowerBroker for Windows rules for production or pilots, customers sometimes tell us, “I don’t think this policy / program is working.” This is usually a case of the policy not properly triggering because of the way the rule was created. A unique feature of PowerBroker for Windows compared to other solutions is a client-side…

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BeyondTrust Webcast: Darren Mar-Elia’s 4 Active Directory Change Scenarios to Track

Posted August 20, 2014    Chris Burd

In our latest webcast, we joined Darren Mar-Elia, CTO at SDM Software, to discuss best practices for Active Directory (AD) change management. Here are some key takeaways from the presentation, followed by a link to a full-length video of the presentation. Mar-Elia kicks things off with a critical insight: that the best AD change management…

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