Thursday, January 3, 2013

Physical Access is Data Access

I have a good friend that is focused on data security within networks, and he is constantly telling me: "Physical access is data access."

And I never believed it. We have encryption, firewalls, many of our servers are virtualized, etc. - I thought we were reasonably secure.

But today I got the opportunity to eat my own words -- I got the opportunity to break into a fully patched Windows 2008R2 server which was acting as a primary domain controller, ftp server, file-server, etc. for a small, very private network segment.

The scenario is this: I inherited a server set up for some very secure data. The local administrator password was lost, but it never mattered much -- until someone really needed some private data off of it.

In the course of 45 minutes -- 15 minutes of research and 30 minutes of hacking (if you could even call it that), I was able to gain complete administrative access to this (very private) windows server.

I followed instructions here:

Check it out for yourself -- but I would certainly recommend using a non-production machine, unlike this SysAdmin.

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