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War Games III: Identity Thief Irene Controls Your Missiles

Posted September 28, 2011    Peter McCalister

In 1983 Hollywood unleashed a movie called War Games that showed what a determined hacker could do if they (even accidentally) attained privileges to a military computer. The movie got good reviews and even raised an eyebrow or two on the possibilities of misuse of privilege on specific information technology, but eventually, like most tinsel town products, was retreaded into a sequel 2008 called War Games: The Dead Code which failed miserably.

Flash forward to September 20, 2001 when DatacenterDynamics.com published an article titled “Japanese weapons maker admits security breach as missile systems are hacked.” Don’t you just love when art imitates life and vice versa? In this case I think I’ll say no.

The article goes on to report “Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Japan’s biggest weapon maker, said it’s servers were hacked after it found viruses on 80 machines. The Japanese Government has insisted it carry out an investigation following local media reports of the attack. Reports said Japan’s defense minister Yasuo Ichikawa told a news conference the cyber attackers had not succeeded in accessing any important information but MHI would be instructed “to undertake a review of their information control systems.” And if that was not enough to scare you “A plant in Nagoya, where the company designs and builds guidance and propulsion systems for rockets and missiles, was also reportedly compromised.”

I introduced you to Identity Thief Irene and showed you how these outside hackers hijack privileged credentials inside secure organizations to effectively do whatever they want. By implementing a least privilege environment you not only mitigate insider threats but the likelihood of outside hacker pulling off this type of breach.

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Additional articles

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PowerBroker for Mac: A Least-Privileged Apple a Day…

Posted July 27, 2015    Jason Silva

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Mac reduces the risk of privilege misuse by enabling standard users on Mac OS X to perform administrative tasks successfully without entering elevated credentials.

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On Demand Webinar – Now is the time for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 24, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In this webinar, SANS Instructor and Founder of Voodoo Security, Dave Shackleford, will revisit several hacking and breach scenarios that involved privileged accounts, and use these as examples while discussing tools and tactics to get this problem under control once and for all.

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Privileged Account Management: The Time is Now

Posted July 22, 2015    Dave Shackleford

There’s plenty of problems we don’t have great options for in InfoSec today. Malware is a pain point that keeps evolving rapidly. 0-day exploits are tough to prepare for. Privileged account management? We got this. We know the root causes, we know how it manifests, we know how to get it under control effectively, and there are great technology solutions that are enterprise-class.

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