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RE: Insufficient Authentication vulnerability in Asus notebook

The difference here is that renaming the admin also offers a some mitigation against local (e.g., non-networked) attacks for when the same person that can't be bothered to lock their session is rewarded with the latest d1psh1t virus when they download their porn-mule update. Installing the OS on something other than C: and renaming the admin account (regardless of the password) thwarts (sound of water dripping) most common local-attack methods. Simple and effective.

1. no, this is not a "vulnerability in software", but build process failure by the OEM. As others have pointed out, this is frequently done to allow "ease of recovery" for the user.
2. there is no expectation (sadly) that OEM will perform any sort of security configuration on their products; typically, this is what "Bob's Security Suite" is intended to accomplish (I know...)
3. anyone leaving their session unlocked when they're removed from it for any length of time is a fuul (IMHO). It takes barely more than 0 seconds to hit <WIN>-L as you move away from the keyboard. ..of course, this habit may be offset by a 4-character password policy...

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Wilson [mailto:mwilson@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:14 PM
To: 'Susan Bradley'; my.security.lists@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: MustLive; bugtraq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Insufficient Authentication vulnerability in Asus notebook

A better option is to set a strong password and set a local policy that the local admin account cannot be accessed over the network.  I'm a big advocate of that in all environments and prevents the need for renaming the account to prevent automated attacks.

Mike Wilson

-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Bradley [mailto:sbradcpa@xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:39 PM
To: my.security.lists@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: MustLive; bugtraq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Insufficient Authentication vulnerability in Asus notebook

We're talking XP Home here, right?  A admin account without a password
cannot be access remotely over the internet, so if you have physical
access at all times of that Asus netbook it's arguably more secure in
some circumstances.

nameless wrote:
> Susan Bradley wrote:
>> 3.  For XPs it's kinda handy to have a blank admin password when you
>> sometimes come in on a network and need to get to that particular
>> machine and you didn't set it up, otherwise you have to use the Admin
>> password boot disk trick and reset the password to blank.
> You should only do the above recommendation, if you like to have your
> boxes owned.
> You should not have any administrative accounts named "Administrator"
> and _all_ administrative accounts should have a _STRONG_ password
> associated with them.
> No exceptions.
> Password safes are available at no charge.  If you somehow forget your
> password, you can always reset it via AD or resetting the SAM.

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