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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

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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