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Insider Villain Introduced: Disgruntled Dave

Posted July 11, 2011    Peter McCalister

In order to put a face on the depth and breadth of potential insiders that can be found throughout your enterprise, I will introduce you to three insider villains and three insider heroes. Each villain will represent one of the key misuse of privileges and each hero will represent key values delivered by least privilege. This first introduction will be of the most impactful and prevalent villain.

Intentional harm is the most visible misuse of privilege and usually results in significant cost to your corporation. This “insider attack” is the result of an administrator intentionally deleting or stealing data, or planting some malware. To better examine this type of privilege misuse I’d like to introduce you to “Disgruntled Dave.”

Disgruntled Dave is a fictitious character created out of the amalgamation of recently caught and reported insiders responsible for breaches ranging from the obscure to the profane.

Dave was once a trusted insider with privileged access to critical IT infrastructure but circumstances have changed such that he is now unhappy with the status quo to the point where he is intentionally doing harm such as stealing, modifying or deleting data and/or planting malware.

In organizations, it is a sad and harsh reality that trusted individuals are getting away with too many things. For example, at HSBC, a systems administrator named Falcini had unfettered root access. And what did he do with those credentials? He stole thousands of customer files and then tried to sell them to banks and tax authorities. This is becoming an increasing trend, with more and more breaches coming to light each month.

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Additional articles

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

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In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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