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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.

What Hackers Don’t Want You To Know About User Privileges

Posted March 9, 2011    Peter McCalister

Believe it or there are people out there that aspire to be hackers.  Not just the run of the mill, crack a password or two, but a bona fide Neo who can play with your secure data like a personal version of the matrix.

These would be data pirates and malcontents have websites that teach them their craft and even annual conferences like DEFCON to compare tips, tricks and vulnerabilities.  They are more organized than the average business executive or auditor realizes and they are inspired by nothing short of total access to any and everything on the information super highway, especially what is hidden within your  servers and on any one of your user’s desktops.

The recurring theme and core principal is basically to find access to admin credentials and you own the keys to the kingdom.  So, when users are granted excessive privileges (admin on desktops, root on servers) then you have an environment just begging for a hacker to attack.

Patient to Doctor: Doctor, doctor, when I do this it hurts

Doctor to Patient: Then don’t do it!

Sage advice that hackers don’t want you to know: if you don’t grant admin rights, you don’t run the risk of someone stealing them, hijacking them or even intentionally misusing them from inside.

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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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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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