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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.

WikiLeaks: The Disease or the Symptom?

Posted December 7, 2010    Peter McCalister

How much press will we have to endure on the significant problems created by WikiLeaks and the public lynching of those who perpetrate these leaks before we realize that if you give someone an inch (excessive admin rights) they will take a mile (misuse that privilege)?

To use a metaphor: If I sneeze, will you give me a tissue and send me on my way?  Will you give me cold medicine?  How about allergy medicine?  Without knowing the cause, “the disease“, then reacting to the sneeze, “the symptom“, will ultimately result in a response that may be over-kill or under-kill.

Some journalists do get it.  Mike Martin at TechNewsWorld published an insighful story titled WikiLeaks Wrangling May Be Escalating Into Cyberwar.  He rightly points out that “the Wikileaks controversary could be devolving into a wiki-war.”

So why is it that every journalist seems to be focused on the symptom, “the leak”, instead of the disease, the “intentional misuse of privilege” caused by “excess admin rights”?

Implemening a privilege identity management solution and eliminating admin rights from servers, desktops, network devices, virtual servers and cloud environments is a strong move in the right direction to ensure that everyone in your organizaton only has access to what they should have based on corporate policy, thus ensureing governance and regulatory compliance and limiting to potential for other “leaks” from your organization.

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Additional articles

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux helps prevent Shellshock

Posted September 25, 2014    Paul Harper

Like many other people who tinker with UNIX and Linux on a regular basis, BASH has always been my shell of choice.  Dating back to the early days moving from Windows to a non-Windows platform, mapping the keys correctly to allow easy navigation and control helped ensure an explosion of use for the shell. Unfortunately,…

Bash “Shellshock” Vulnerability – Retina Updates

Posted September 24, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

A major vulnerability was recently discovered within bash which allows arbitrary command execution via specially crafted environment variables. This is possible due to the fact that bash supports the assignment of shell functions to shell variables. When bash parses environment shell functions, it continues parsing even after the closing brace of the function definition. If…

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7 Reasons Customers Switch to Password Safe for Privileged Password Management

Posted September 24, 2014    Chris Burd

It’s clear that privileged password management tools are essential for keeping mission-critical data, servers and assets safe and secure. However, as I discussed in my previous post, there are several pitfalls to look out for when deploying a privileged password management solution. At this point, you may be wondering how BeyondTrust stacks up. With that,…

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