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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.

The Confluence Of Influenza, 0Day Viruses and Least Privilege

Posted December 2, 2011    Peter McCalister

What does influenza, 0day viruses and least privilege have in common you may ask? Besides just being a cool title to get you to read this blog, it turns out that natural mutations, the fear of the unknown and reducing attack surfaces is the short answer.

virus

The long answer is best understood by first reading this article titled “Fighting 0days With Fundamentals” by Vincent Lu over at Dark Reading to see his views on how to pre-emptively secure systems against 0day attacks that, by definition, we know nothing about. In this article Mr. Lu ties 0day viruses to influenza by stating: “A close analogy in the real world is influenza. Over successive infections, the virus mutates into a new form that must be identified and analyzed before a vaccine can be created. After the mutation, the influenza virus is like a 0day because it has a new pattern that no immune system has previously encountered. So it easily infects thousands of people — even those who had previously been inoculated — before a vaccine can be created.”

For those of you who don’t know how anti-virus software works, it first requires a signature so that the perscriptive technology can be setup to fight it. Therefore a 0day virus can be particularly nasty if you are the one to get it before your anti-malware vendor. Thus the need, as Mr. Lu puts it, “is the reduction of your systems’ attack surface.”

Enter a least privilege solution. By eliminating admin rights on all IT systems (desktops and servers) you inhibit a 0day virus from hijacking full admin credentials and wreaking havoc on you corporate iT security.

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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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asp-mvc

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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