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Removing User Admin Rights Could Have Prevented IMF Cyber-Attack
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BOSTON and MANCHESTER, England, June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Avecto Ltd, the leader in Windows privilege management, todayrevealed how removing user admin rights, through a policy of 'leastprivilege', could have prevented the recent cyber-attack on the IMFsystems.

Whilst very few details of the major cyber-attack on the IMFsystems earlier this month have been released, it is highly likelythat end user activity unknowingly played a key role in the event.It appears that the attack aimed to install software on the systemto create a 'digital insider presence' and took place over a periodof months. The hack used a technique known as 'spear phishing'which tricks users into clicking on web links in their emails oropening and running programs that give access to the usersnetwork.

Despite an e-mail from IMF chief information officer, JonathanPalmer, warning of increased phishing activity, employeesunwittingly continued to access malicious web links throughunsolicited or spoof emails, which set the attack in motion.

Preventing users from making unwanted desktop changes withoutrestricting them from performing their job function continues to bea serious challenge for almost all organizations. Striking abalance between providing users with a degree of control over theirdesktop configuration and protecting the standard desktop build isdifficult, as this control often results in granting admin rightsto a user.

Mark Austin, chief technology officer at Avecto comments, "In aconnected age, it is almost impossible for large corporations topolice all web and email activity, opting in many instances totrust users to be more vigilant and take the right course ofaction. The nature of an automation attack relies on someone,somewhere, making the wrong decision and opening the doorway forattackers. However, by moving to a least privilege desktop,corporations can significantly reduce their attack surface whilstmaintaining the level of flexibility that users require to performtheir roles."

Additionally, data extracted from Microsoft's vulnerabilityreports confirm that the removal of admin rights from Windows usersis a mitigating factor for over 90% of criticalvulnerabilities.

Avecto's Privilege Guard enables organizations to empower usersthrough a policy of 'least privilege', which ensures they remainproductive wherever they are, without impacting the securityposture of corporate systems.

About Avecto

Avecto is the leader in Windows privilege management, helpingorganizations to deploy secure and compliant desktops and servers.With its award winning Privilege Guard technology, organizationscan now empower all Windows based desktop and server users with theprivileges they require to perform their roles, withoutcompromising the integrity and security of their systems.

Customers of all sizes rely on Avecto to reduce operatingexpenses and strengthen security across their Windows basedenvironments. Our mission is to enable our customers to loweroperating costs and improve system security by implementing leastprivilege. Avecto is building a worldwide channel of partners andsystem integrators and is headquartered in Manchester, UK with keyregional offices in Andover, MA and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Formore information, visit

Press Contact: Donna Shaw - Avecto Ltd - ,Tel: +44(0)845-519-0114

SOURCE Avecto Ltd

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