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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.

BlackBerry Vulnerability – Where’s the Admin Privileges?

Posted March 30, 2011    Peter McCalister

If you haven’t read by now, at this year’s Pwn2Own hacker challenge that took place at CanSecWest in Vancouver last week, the iPhone and Blackberry were both hacked. Teams also demonstrated several vulnerabilities in browsers, macbooks and more.

For RIM the news is considered a major blow, because they sell to corporate customers largely on the basis of security. But here’s the question I’d like to pose – why doesn’t anyone remove admin privileges on devices?

In fact, the control of admin privileges on a mobile device is a perplexing concept for many, even though it makes perfect sense. Here’s your PC, it has admin privileges removed so that users are prompted before malware installs or key settings are changed – that way confidential email, documents and information can be protected.  Now you have the same users and the same data, doing generally the same activities and working for the same company, with a device issued by the same IT department, protecting the same information.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Will hackers and malware developers soon realize that mobile devices are that weakest link?  Some of you may be familiar with our prior reports on the number of Microsoft vulnerabilities that could be mitigated by removing admin privileges. We’re working on this year’s report now.

Maybe next year we’ll have to find out what percent of mobile vulnerabilities could be mitigated by removing admin privileges on corporate phones. What do you think?

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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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4bestpracticesaudits-blog

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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