How Old Sci-Fi Compares to Today’s RealityFor the new movie documenting Snowden, the facts on his privileged hacks are well documented. Similar movies like the Falcon and the Snowman parallel the espionage techniques but Snowden’s exfiltration of data used relatively modern techniques like thumb drives and privileged accounts verses cameras and microfilm. The intent is the same however – to copy sensitive documents and move them past the physical perimeter of the building. With modern electronics, copying large quantities of data is faster using removable media than a camera one page at a time. It is therefore safe to assume that without the proper security controls to the data, identifying secure data to access, watching when files have been touched, and even when sensitive files are in transit (even by a system administrator like Snowden) a breach like this could occur. It is not to say the NSA systems where void of security controls, but they were inadequate to identify even a trusted insider moving data and using other user’s accounts for inappropriate access. The Snowden could potentially could be a true eye opening documentary and have similar effects on information and security technology that BlackFish had on the amusement park industry and animal activists. Snowden’s activity represents one of the largest security breaches of classified information in United States history. Regardless of whether he is a hero or criminal, the techniques he used to hack the government are very real. The movie attempts to portray them factually and people should take note of the potential weaknesses he exploited. It could happen to their businesses too. How secure are your privileged accounts? If you are interested in benchmarking your privileged access management practices against your peers, download the results of our new Privilege Benchmarking Study today.
Morey J. Haber, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at BeyondTrust
Morey J. Haber is Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at BeyondTrust. He has more than 25 years of IT industry experience and has authored four Apress books: Privileged Attack Vectors (2 Editions), Asset Attack Vectors, and Identity Attack Vectors. In 2018, Bomgar acquired BeyondTrust and retained the BeyondTrust name. He originally joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition. Morey currently oversees BeyondTrust strategy for privileged access management and remote access solutions. In 2004, he joined eEye as Director of Security Engineering and was responsible for strategic business discussions and vulnerability management architectures in Fortune 500 clients. Prior to eEye, he was Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. (CA), responsible for new product beta cycles and named customer accounts. He began his career as Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.