June 28th, 2017

NotPetya ransomware: Attack analysis

On June 27, 2017 a number of organisations across Europe began reporting significant system outages caused by a ransomware strain referred to as Petya. The ransomware is very similar to older Petya ransomware attacks from previous years, but the infection and propagation method is new, leading to it being referred to as NotPetya. Due to the sudden and significant impact of the attack, it was immediately likened to the WannaCry outbreak causing concerns globally. 

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Assigning admin privileges on Domain Controllers

Active Directory (AD) is the core of a Windows Server network and consists of a database that stores usernames and passwords, plus several technologies that work together to provide security and management services to clients and servers. Domain controllers (DCs) are servers that host a copy of the AD database and run related services.

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What is the Right Amount of GPOs?

This is a question I get all the time, so I thought I’d take a moment and share some thoughts on this question.

Before we get to “What is the right amount of GPOs”, let’s start off with “Can I have too many GPOs?”

One of the problems with Group Policy, in general, is that there isn’t much “organization” inside the Group Policy Objects node within the GPMC. Simply, you get a flat list of GPO names – listed alphabetically. This isn’t ideal if you have, say, thousands of Group Policy Objects and are looking for one, in particular, needle in a haystack.

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Who Has Admin Rights?

Before implementing a least privilege desktop policy it is generally good practice to know who you are likely to affect. This is not an easy task if you do not already manage or track which users have previously been given local admin rights on their devices.

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What’s the incentive to secure your desktop systems?

Desktop security may seem to have little to do with an organization’s profit and loss, share prices and overall bottom line, but going beyond antivirus protection can have a significant impact on productivity, total cost of ownership and IT support costs. In an era where companies are under pressure to reduce overheads and find new sources of revenue, operating an efficient IT infrastructure has never been so important. Whether that involves virtualization or getting more from your existing hardware, desktop security plays a vital role in ensuring systems run securely with maximum performance and uptime.

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Do Users Really Know Best?

The consumerisation of IT has become a fashionable catch phrase over the past few years as some companies choose to give employees the option to decide what hardware and software they use at work. Schemes have been set up, such as Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC), where virtualization technologies are deployed that allow users to run a managed corporate desktop from their own device with the aim of reducing costs.

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