Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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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


Closing the Vulnerability Gap

Posted October 7, 2015    Brian Chappell

Managing vulnerabilities is a significant challenge for many organizations. The main difficulties with managing this manifest in two key areas. The first is that the list isn’t static. The second is priority.


Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.