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Tech Insight: How To Protect Against Attacks Via Your Third-Party Vendors
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User Rank: Apprentice
6/25/2015 | 5:12:43 AM
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User Rank: Moderator
3/27/2014 | 6:09:05 PM
re: Tech Insight: How To Protect Against Attacks Via Your Third-Party Vendors

Thank you for the comment. I'm not sure if we'll ever know the full extent of the "remote access" that the HVAC vendor had into the Target network. In one article I've read, it mentioned 3 different web applications. At least 2 of them had the capabilities to upload documents. I do agree that access to a web application is different than having access to Microsoft Remote Desktop or Citrix, but that doesn't prevent vulnerabilties in those web applications from exposing the internal Target network to attack.

I'm not sure how much experience you have with web application security, but I can provide you several examples of penetration tests that I've performed during my day job at InGuardians where the flaws in the web applications led to full compromise of the target companies' internal networks. Some of those successes were due to SQL injection vulnerabilities and a couple were insecure file upload mechanisms that led to code execution on the web server. From there, it was just a matter of pivoting through systems until the crown jewels were in hand -- Domain Admin access, password hashes for all users, RDP into Exchange and SQL servers that held intellectual property and sales data, source code repositories, etc.

Since neither of us were involved in the Target investigation, we're left speculating on what "remote access" the vendor really had and whether or not that access may have had vulnerabilities that could have allowed for deeper compromise. With the right skills, "remote access" to a website is all you need.

User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 6:57:48 AM
Know You Vendor (KYV) is essential
I think the overall message in this article of having enhanced due diligence over our third-party relationships is essential.  Similar to how we follow the concept of Know Your Customer (KYC) before doing business with a client, we must follow the concept of Know Your Vendor (KYV) as a critical element of ongoing Business Intelligence.
User Rank: Strategist
3/11/2014 | 3:08:42 PM
re: Tech Insight: How To Protect Against Attacks Via Your Third-Party Vendors
Slightly confused here - I thought the whole "HVAC vendor had remote access" thing had been completely debunked, weeks ago, and all they had access to was a billing portal?

That's like saying I have "remote access" to amazon.co.uk because I can log into their website...

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