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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

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux helps prevent Shellshock

Posted September 25, 2014    Paul Harper

Like many other people who tinker with UNIX and Linux on a regular basis, BASH has always been my shell of choice.  Dating back to the early days moving from Windows to a non-Windows platform, mapping the keys correctly to allow easy navigation and control helped ensure an explosion of use for the shell. Unfortunately,…

Bash “Shellshock” Vulnerability – Retina Updates

Posted September 24, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

A major vulnerability was recently discovered within bash which allows arbitrary command execution via specially crafted environment variables. This is possible due to the fact that bash supports the assignment of shell functions to shell variables. When bash parses environment shell functions, it continues parsing even after the closing brace of the function definition. If…

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7 Reasons Customers Switch to Password Safe for Privileged Password Management

Posted September 24, 2014    Chris Burd

It’s clear that privileged password management tools are essential for keeping mission-critical data, servers and assets safe and secure. However, as I discussed in my previous post, there are several pitfalls to look out for when deploying a privileged password management solution. At this point, you may be wondering how BeyondTrust stacks up. With that,…

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