Why Insider Threat Denial is Everyone’s Problem

Posted by Eran Cohen on Sep 11, 2019 4:54:19 AM

People don’t like to admit when they’re wrong. And really, who can blame them? Being wrong is uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing, and embarrassing. These are all feelings that people try their best to avoid.

One of the most common methods for avoiding them is denial, or the unwillingness to accept something as truth. This isn’t a blog explicitly about human psychology, but it is about a dangerous cybersecurity problem rooted in it: insider threat denial syndrome.

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Topics: Insider Threats, Credential Compromise, Insider Threat

Red Flag Alert: Service Accounts Performing Interactive Logins

Posted by Monnia Deng on Aug 29, 2019 1:32:26 PM

In the world of account security, we often focus on end user accounts as the weak vector vulnerable to attackers. 

On the contrary, we at Preempt see something that happens just as frequently: failing to limit exposed and vulnerable service accounts. Service accounts often differ from end user accounts in that they usually have higher privileges that are used to control or call applications and services. As a result, looking for key indicators of compromise of your service accounts should be at the forefront of your network security strategy.

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Topics: Privileged Accounts, Active Directory, Credential Compromise, Passwords, Insider Threat, Black Hat, Lateral Movement, Stealthy Admin

Empowering Employees to Reduce Security Incidents

Posted by Eran Cohen on Jul 2, 2019 11:15:00 AM

In the hustle and bustle of our modern world, we can all get easily lost in the noise. One kind of noise is most frustrating for security teams: the noise of security incidents. With more and more data feeds into your security analytics products, it seems like we are creating more problems for ourselves with the all of the alerts and not enough manpower. 

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Topics: Adaptive Response, Multi-factor Authentication, Identity Verification, Credential Compromise, ueba, Incident Response, Threat Detection, Insider Threat, Conditional Access

Disrupting an Attacker from Exploiting Domain Credentials

Posted by Avi Kama on May 28, 2019 8:28:00 AM

Security professionals often feel they don’t have enough time to keep up with modern threats. In fact, Crowdstrike researchers have found that top threat actors can go in and out of networks in a matter of minutes. Despite other similar security research reports listing all the ways threat actors can breach a network, they rarely offer a viable solution to combat these risks and often just resign us all to a “we can only do our best” mentality.

I disagree. While I feel that “doing our best” is sufficient for an elementary school project, it’s not the right mentality for an enterprise security team. We as security professionals should strive to be excellent. In order to get there, let’s review some common attack patterns and discuss the best ways to disrupt an attacker’s plan.

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Topics: User Behavior, APT, Credential Compromise

Brute Force Attacks: Denying the Attacker, Not the User

Posted by Heather Howland on May 13, 2019 9:39:49 AM

According to haveIbeenpwned.com, close to 8 billion accounts have been compromised. The site  provides a tool to see if any of your passwords have been compromised and are available on the dark-net. Once passwords are compromised, they are easily exposed to bad actors who can use them for brute force attacks and credential stuffing.

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Topics: Privileged Users, password brute force, Credential Compromise, ueba, Incident Response, Threat Detection, Conditional Access

What State-Sponsored Attacks Can Teach Us About Conditional Access

Posted by Nir Yosha on May 3, 2019 11:52:00 AM

People often think that state-sponsored attacks from groups like Lazarus (North Korea), Fancy Bear (Russia) or menuPass (China) only target public federal organizations in Western nations like the U.S. This is simply not the case. In fact, attacks on large financial and retail institutions have increasingly been state-sponsored attacks hoping to create chaos more than just theft. These attacks largely come from U.S.-sanctioned states such as Iran, Russia and North Korea, as these hacking groups have come to realize that attacking private organizations can achieve the same goals as attacking public institutions.

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Topics: Privileged Accounts, Credential Compromise, NTLM, Hacking, Ransomware, Lateral Movement, Attack Tools, Conditional Access

How to Thwart an Attacker’s Attempt to Compromise Credentials and Move Around a Network

Posted by Heather Howland on Apr 18, 2019 2:56:00 PM

In the past year, we have seen numerous publicly traded corporations (Marriott and T-Mobile), airlines (Cathay Pacific and Delta), and tech companies (Facebook and Google+) all breached because of some type of insider threat or compromised credentials. So, it’s no surprise that insider threats and preventing credential compromise are growing concerns for organizations.

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Topics: Insider Threats, Active Directory, Credential Compromise

Conditional Access Establishes Trust In the Network

Posted by Heather Howland on Mar 15, 2019 9:46:16 AM

Stolen or compromised credentials pose well-known risks to organizations and their employees. And as hackers and other malicious actors become more advanced and sophisticated in their techniques, the global threat is increasing. At a recent IT security conference, I spoke with a customer about an alert (TA18-276A) that the United States National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) released late last year. The alert, titled “Using Rigorous Credential Control to Mitigate Trusted Network Exploitation,” outlines recommendations on how to overcome these challenges. In this blog, I’ll discuss how Conditional Access and detection of malicious use of tools and protocols can address the NCCIC’s recommendations.  

The alert provides information on how Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors are using multiple mechanisms to acquire legitimate user credentials. Once acquired, attackers can use the credentials to exploit trusted network relationships, in order to expand unauthorized access, maintain persistence, and exfiltrate data from targeted organizations. Some of the suggested NCCIC best practices for administrators to mitigate these threats include rigorous credential controls and privileged-access management, as well as remote-access control and audits of legitimate remote-access logs.

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Topics: User Behavior, Risk, Multi-factor Authentication, Privileged Accounts, APT, User and Entity Behavior Analytics, Credential Compromise, Compliance

Three Ways to Limit the Cybersecurity Impact of the Government Shutdown

Posted by Monnia Deng on Jan 25, 2019 10:25:25 AM

UPDATE (Jan. 25): Recent news reports state a deal has been reached to re-open the federal government through Feb 15. The issues outlined in this blog continue to apply to public and private sector organizations.

As many of you may have read in the news recently, the government shutdown has had a negative impact on both federal and enterprise security. Krebs on Security has reported possible consequences of the government shutdown on the talent pool, such as federal employees actively being recruited by the private sector, as well as delays on security clearances. Duo Security’s news arm, Decipher, has also done a great job laying out potential government shutdown impacts on enterprise security, including delays on NIST guidelines and standards, and closure of FIPS validation sites.

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Topics: Risk, Credential Compromise, Hacking

With ⅓ of Enterprises Suffering from Weak or Exposed Passwords, Is Hollywood Part of the Problem?

Posted by Matt Culbertson on Jan 18, 2019 1:38:10 PM

TV shows, movies, and video games seem to take a lot of heat (fairly or not) for contributing to a mixed bag of societal problems. When setting your passwords, make sure to take your cues from movies like Ocean’s Thirteen’s Livingston Dell and Mad Max’s Furiosa - rather than examples like James Bond using his coworker’s name as the only password for $120 million in gambling winnings. Kanye’s infamous “000000” iPhone password, typed in full view of White House press cameras, comes to mind.

What password would you use for a bank account soon to be worth $120 million?

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Topics: Credential Compromise, Passwords