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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.

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

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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