Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

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

Insider Villain Introduced: Identity Thief Irene

Posted July 20, 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 fifth introduction will be of the craftiest villain.

Indirect misuse of privilege is the hardest misuse of privilege to spot inside your perimeter. Why? Because when an outsider succeeds in impersonating some trusted insider of your organization and is executing commands from the that set of credentials, you think it is actually valid. To better examine this type of privilege misuse I’d like to introduce you to “Identity Thief Irene.”

Irene is the worst villain of them all; she is an outsider who has hijacked the credentials of an unsuspecting over-privileged insider and uses those credentials to steal, modify or delete data and/or plant malware.

Indirect misuse of privileges is when one or more attack types are launched from a third party computer that has been taken over remotely. A startling statistic revealed by Gartner is that 67% of all malware detections ever made were detected in 2008. Gartner also estimates managed desktops, or users who run without admin rights, produce on average a $1,237 savings per desktop and reduce the amount of IT labor for technical support by 24%.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles


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.


Who Moved My Front Door? (What is Privileged Account Management?)

Posted October 1, 2015    Nigel Hedges

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a room with a very fluffy sales guy. In between words such as “we’ll make this happen” and “leave it with me, I’ll get it sorted” he asked the question “What is Privileged Account Management”?