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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.

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

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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4bestpracticesaudits-blog

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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