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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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Implementing Least Privilege for Windows the Easy Way

Posted July 31, 2014    Morey Haber

The concept of least privilege states that asset users should have the lowest level of access privileges required to effectively conduct their jobs. Implementing least privilege can bring several benefits to your organization, including: Increased security by reducing the attack surface available to users and to potential attackers who compromise user systems via phishing, malware,…

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Introducing the Gartner Market Guide for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 29, 2014    Chris Burd

Gartner recently released a new Market Guide for Privileged Account Management (PAM), and we’d like to share a complimentary copy with you. The report includes PAM market analysis and direction, vendor overviews, and recommendations for selecting PAM solutions for your environment. BeyondTrust is one of two representative vendors (out of 20) to address all solution…

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Integrating Least Privilege and Password Management to Solve Account Security Challenges

Integrating Least Privilege and Password Management to Solve Account Security Challenges

Posted July 24, 2014    Morey Haber

There is a reason all BeyondTrust Privileged Account Management (PAM) solutions share the PowerBroker name: They all inherently enable you to reduce user-based risk and can be integrated under a centralized IT risk management platform. Here’s one common use case that demonstrates how this integration changes the playing field. Consider the challenge of privileged access:…

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