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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.

Stuxnet? Night Drag0n? Nope,You Got Pwned by a Printer.

Posted September 6, 2011    Mike Puterbaugh

At the recent BlackHat and DefCon conferences, our annual eEye Research Team T-shirt was one of the more memorable ones we’d done in a while (and if you remember 2005, that’s saying something). In keeping with the theme of Security in Context, the shirt parodied the fear that attacks like Stuxnet, NightDragon and Operation Aurora had put into many attendees’ minds, when in reality you were more likely to end up getting hacked by a caricature of Mr. Peanut.


I can think of literally hundreds of examples where security pros would be better off focusing on the fundamentals of their vulnerability management strategy  rather than throwing all of their resources at the most recent “attack du jour.”
A perfect case in point – at this year’s DefCon Conference, security researcher Deral Heiland showed off some interesting attack scenarios targeting multi-function printers. No – not the printer! Just when you thought that PC Load Letter was your biggest problem at the print station. Nope, it’s fairly easy for these ubiquitous office products to now be accessed by a remote attacker – pulling down digital images of everything you’ve printed, scanned or faxed from the device.

That means contracts, purchase orders, new customer invoices, medical records … (you get the point) are up for grabs. I’ll sit right here and wait as you run and rip your printer off your network. <sips coffee>  Actually, that wasn’t necessary.  What is necessary is ensuring that every connected device (workstations, servers, mobile devices, virtual devices and apps, etc.) are part of your regularly scheduled vulnerability management process. Our Retina family of products has always included (and will continue to include) audits for non-end user devices like routers, switches and yes, even printers.

Why? Your network is only as secure as its weakest device. You have to keep these things in context.   Our compliments to Deral for his research and presentation.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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