Risk
3/29/2010
10:44 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Windows 7 Less Vulnerable Without Admin Rights

Most Windows 7 vulnerabilities can be mitigated by administrative rights limitations, report from BeyondTrust finds

Taking away the administrative rights from Microsoft Windows 7 users will lessen the risk posed by 90 percent of the critical Windows 7 vulnerabilities reported to date and 100 percent of the Microsoft Office vulnerabilities reported last year.

It will also mitigate the risk of 94 percent of vulnerabilities reported in all versions of Internet Explorer in 2009 and 100 percent of the vulnerabilities reported in Internet Explorer 8 during the same time period.

Finally, it will reduce the danger posed by 64 percent of all Microsoft vulnerabilities reported last year.

These findings come from a study conducted by BeyondTrust, which perhaps unsurprisingly sells software that restricts administrative privileges. The company argues that companies need its software to protect themselves, particularly during the time between Microsoft's publication of vulnerability information and the application of Microsoft's fixes.

"Enterprises continue to face imminent danger from zero-day attacks as new vulnerabilities are exploited before patches can ever be developed and deployed," said BeyondTrust EVP of corporate development Steve Kelley in a statement. "Our findings reflect the critical role that restricting administrator rights plays in protecting against these types of threats."

The risks poses by unchecked administrative rights aren't exactly new.

Here's what Microsoft had to say about such privileges in 1999: "Unauthorized or unknowledgeable people who have administrator privileges can maliciously or accidentally damage your organization if they copy or delete confidential data, spread viruses, or disable your network. It is vitally important to properly manage the users and groups that have administrative control over the servers and domain controllers in your network."

More than a decade later, that point evidently bears repeating. Indeed, BeyondTrust was saying as much a year ago.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-5700
Published: 2014-09-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Baby Gekko before 1.2.2f allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) id parameter to admin/index.php or the (2) username or (3) password parameter in blocks/loginbox/loginbox.template.php to index.php. NOTE: some o...

CVE-2014-0484
Published: 2014-09-22
The Debian acpi-support package before 0.140-5+deb7u3 allows local users to gain privileges via vectors related to the "user's environment."

CVE-2014-2942
Published: 2014-09-22
Cobham Aviator 700D and 700E satellite terminals use an improper algorithm for PIN codes, which makes it easier for attackers to obtain a privileged terminal session by calculating the superuser code, and then leveraging physical access or terminal access to enter this code.

CVE-2014-3595
Published: 2014-09-22
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in spacewalk-java 1.2.39, 1.7.54, and 2.0.2 in Spacewalk and Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite 5.4 through 5.6 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted request that is not properly handled when logging.

CVE-2014-3635
Published: 2014-09-22
Off-by-one error in D-Bus 1.3.0 through 1.6.x before 1.6.24 and 1.8.x before 1.8.8, when running on a 64-bit system and the max_message_unix_fds limit is set to an odd number, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (dbus-daemon crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code by sending one m...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio