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Enterprises Remain Riddled With Overprivileged Users -- and Attackers Know It
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User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2021 | 2:33:56 PM
Great article and great points, thank you for sharing your insight.
I am currently working with various vendors who work directly with Microsoft (MSC), the acronym MSC uses is "PIM" - Priviliged Identity Management. This uses a Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) which are a collection of privileges used to allocate permissions to users (U), applications(A) or service accounts(SA).  The term PIM is used to identify specific permissions that are need to access an application or a specific resource. The problems are not necessarily problematic at the user level (U), but at the Service Account (SA), this is where "God-like" privileges are given to the SA, the users are usually placed in a group where RBAC permissions are assigned, the permissions trickle down to the user but from a hierachical standpoint, they are inherited from higher level resources. There is the delimna, we need to be able to control the permissions that are flow down from high-level to the various groups and thus to the user. That is a lot of work and that is why design of the "Infrastructure" and permission structure is extremely important. The OU or Organizational Unit can be segmented in a way that limit inherent permissions (RBAC) by stopping certain OU's from receiving permissions that are not intended.

In addition, from an application standpoint, giving only permissions to the application that are explicitly needed would have helped. Linux provides solutions like SELinux and/or Apparmor. Apparmor, if used with aa-logprof, would give the user an idea of what the applicaiton was accessing, then by creating a profile (solarwinds found under /etc/apparmor.d/), we could limit the application using a "PIM" methodology (only allow specific permissions to the SA or U) without giving the SA "God-like" access.

There are tools out there, we just have to be cognizant of them and their role, this would have helped to isolate and identify an external actor using existing tools (fail2ban (Siem), Apparmor/SELinux (policy control and mgmt), UFW (firewall/IPTables), SSH Keys (ECDSA, ED25519), KMS (Key Management System - KeyVault, CSP Key Mgmt) and/or Group Policies (Windows).

Using Azure AD Privileged Identity Management for elevated access



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