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News

Jail Term For Rogue Network Administrator Leaves Unanswered Questions

CyberArk Software : 10 August, 2010  (Technical Article)
Cyber-Ark comments on San Francisco network administrator jail term and highlights the requirements to lock down critical infrastructure networks from the ability to be controlled from a single user account
Terry Childs, a former network administrator in San Francisco's Department of Telecommunications and Information Services (DTIS), was sentenced to four years in prison by Judge Teri Jackson on Friday 6th August.

Childs was arrested in July 2008 after locking down the entire San Francisco City Network and refusing to hand over the passwords of which he was the sole proprietor. He has been held in jail on $5 million bail ever since.

Mark Fullbrook, Director UK & Ireland at Privileged Identity expert, Cyber-Ark, has said the following on the news:

"It may have taken more than two years, but the tale of Terry Childs has finally reached its climax. Whilst his sentence, and indeed verdict, can have left few surprised, questions have to be raised as to the wider implications of this case and whether any lessons have been learnt.

"True, this is a case of extreme proportions - one person with the keys to an entire network - however, any organisation which chooses to give blanket access to administrators, be they one or many, could easily end up in the same situation.

"All organisations have users with privileged identities, and they cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the power - and potential pitfalls - of such access. The only solution is to put in place a robust series of checks and balances to ensure that information is held in a secure environment whereby all sessions and activities are logged and monitored. Defending a network is never going to be an easy task, but this belt and braces approach is the only way to defend your data against the threat from within."
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