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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

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A Quick Look at MS14-068

Posted November 20, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft recently released an out of band patch for Kerberos.  Taking a look at the Microsoft security bulletin, it seems like there is some kind of issue with Kerberos signatures related to tickets. Further information is available in the Microsoft SRD Blogpost So it looks like there is an issue with PAC signatures.  But what…

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Password Game Show

Managing Shared Accounts for Privileged Users: 5 Best Practices for Achieving Control and Accountability

Posted November 20, 2014    Scott Lang

How do organizations ensure accountability of shared privileged accounts to meet compliance and security requirements without impacting administrator productivity? Consider these five best practices…

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Triggering MS14-066

Triggering MS14-066

Posted November 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft addressed CVE-2014-6321 this Patch Tuesday, which has been hyped as the next Heartbleed.  This vulnerability (actually at least 2 vulnerabilities) promises remote code execution in applications that use the SChannel Security Service Provider, such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). The details have been scarce.  Lets fix that. Looking at the bindiff of schannel.dll, we see a…

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