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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Identity Thief Irene Hijacks Customer Database At Travelodge

Posted August 15, 2011    Peter McCalister

I introduced you to Identity Thief Irene as an archetype for the type of insider villain who may already be infiltrating your extended enterprise a couple of weeks ago and guess what? Almost every day I see an article that represents “Irene” as manifesting in another company with some measurable harm that was newsworthy.

The latest set of articles I found refer to Travelodge UK who had the very embarrassing requirement to send out letters to their registered customer base apologizing for the recent bout of spam they were receiving because a critical database was hacked. The company’s twitter feed stated that they “had not sold customer records, meaning that the data breach was likely to have been the result of a cyber attack.”

TheInquirer.net reported that the letter, signed by Gary Parsons, the CEO of Travelodge said, “Our main priority is to ensure the security of our customers’ data, which is why I wanted to make you aware, that a small number of you may have received a spam email via the email address you have registered with us.”
“Please be assured, we have not sold any customer data and no financial information has been compromised.”

If you have anyone in your organization with excessive privileges (root on unix/linux servers or Admin on Windows desktops) then you run the risk of an outside hacker like “Irene” hijacking those credentials and gaining access to critical information assets. It is also important to have an in-place Database Activity Monitoring solution to log who is touching these assets and what they are doing in order to quickly remediate harm.

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Additional articles

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Adobe Patches Zero-Day Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild

Posted January 22, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Earlier this week, French malware researcher Kafeine reported on a new Adobe Flash zero-day vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild using the latest versions of the Angler Exploit Toolkit. “Any version of Internet Explorer or Firefox with any version of Windows will get owned if Flash up to 16.0.0.287 (included) is installed and enabled”…

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Your Data Security Strategy Starts with Deploying a Least Privilege Model (part 2 of 2)

Posted January 22, 2015    Scott Lang

In last week’s blog, we talked about how controls and accountability must be put into place so that only the right folks can access data and the systems on which that data resides, and that employing a least privilege model helps to achieve that and more. We’re using conclusions and data from a recent report…

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Basic Blocking and Tackling for Defending Against Advanced Targeted Attacks

Posted January 22, 2015    Larry Brock

With football season at its pinnacle at both the college and professional levels, the best teams continually focus on the fundamentals that make them successful. In security, we need to do the same.  It is okay for us to have a few key plays, especially in certain industries where we have to focus on unique…

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