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The Fallacy of Internal Access Only

In the wake of Shell Shock, I’ve seen some vendor advisories indicate that while their product is vulnerable, it’s only through the management interface but everything is okay because if best practices have been followed, the management interface isn’t/hasn’t been exposed to the Internet.

No, everything is not okay. If best practices have been followed, then management interfaces have been locked down to particular IP addresses and not all internal IPs. However, this is still not a guarantee that everything is okay.

With the prevalence of phishing attacks to get a foot inside the network, and the relative success of those attacks, that means you can expect an attack from the inside at some point. Gone are the days where we honestly felt we could keep the bad guys out. Now we know they will get in and it’s a matter of detection and remediation. The faster the better. The game has changed from keeping them out to keeping them from getting anything useful. Since that’s the way the game is being played now, responses like what I’ve been seeing are worrisome. They show that the vendors in question don’t understand the change in the game.


Databases – Infrastructure – Security

Brian Kelley is an author, columnist, and Microsoft SQL Server MVP focusing primarily on SQL Server security. He is a contributing author for How to Cheat at Securing SQL Server 2005 (Syngress), Professional SQL Server 2008 Administration (Wrox), and Introduction to SQL Server (Texas Publishing). Brian currently serves as an infrastructure and security architect. He has also served as a senior Microsoft SQL Server DBA, database architect, developer, and incident response team lead.


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