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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

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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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