Computers are managed by people – and thus mistakes get made.

We are all busy – the department is smaller, as we lost Jim, he retired. John was fired in the last layoffs. But what happened – we soldiered on. We have gotten new servers installed, systems retired taught the users a new program. It is as if we had Jim and John still here.

But we missed leaving a program on one of the servers which did not get patched. So now the program is vulnerable – and it is only as matter of time before a person interested in penetrating systems for fun or profit will abuse the system in ways unknown.

Incompetence – no unknown competence

how good are your sys admins?

are your programmers developing secure websites?

Get your systems scanned – you don’t know what is going on.  We can scan and review.

System admin goes to coffee shop

System admin Jim is sitting in a café getting his favorite cappuccino, while waiting for the drink to be prepared he flips open the notebook computer and goes to his favorite website – checking on sports and news.

Then of course checks his email with outlook on his desktop.

What he did not realize is that another person next door to the coffee shop has been listening in on the network sessions, and captured the network traffic. Since the outlook email transmits passwords in the clear (without encryption) the hacker was able to obtain the username and password of the system administrator at abc co.

The hacker now can log into the abc co server. After the hacker logs into the remote server he was able to access more systems and place software that will give him access to the company systems even after the sys admin changes his password.

We can check your systems for unknown software very easily and let you know what is going on.

Linux admin is busy with software installations

Our Linux admin is a pretty sharp guy, he is working on updating website technology (php version). We have to keep up with patches  and new technical abilities.

Unbeknownst to him, a hacker somehow placed a “crontab” entry which will run every 60 minutes shutting down defenses and opening other attack avenues. The hacker used a well known breach in the Windows platform to make inroads on one computer, this allowed him to connect to another computer which now he is in control of.

Too bad the systems were not regularly inspected for potential breaches. One never knows who is lurking on the Internet ready to pounce.

Small orgs still have to do the right thing

The problem with looking at this sophisticated target and Michaels attacks can make you think:

That only happens to the big companies – my business does not provide a large target, so I don’t have to worry.


That is unfortunately not true.  Small organizations need to do the right thing and secure their resources as much as possible, since thety will get different attackers, different attacks. And undefended you will get hammered as the smaller attacks pile up.

Target Retail and Michaels craft credit card bungles

let’s discuss the credit card number fiascos of Target and Michaels. Krebs on Security Blog got the scoop on Jan 14.

No business wants to be the focal point of an investigation: a large credit card processor was seeing hundreds of cards that all had been recently used at Michaels.

And unfortunately Michaels has had this happen before(May of 2011).

There are problems in your IT security when these types of breaches occur again and again.

In all Security operations one must test the configurations, and preferably with an independent set of eyes, that is where we come in aty OversiteSentry.