Privilege Escalation definition in Cybersecurity

Privilege escalation is the act of exploiting a bug, design flaw, or configuration oversight in an operating system or software application to gain elevated access to resources that are normally protected from an application or user.

Notable Incidents

  1. The Windows "EternalBlue" SMB vulnerability, exploited by WannaCry ransomware to achieve privilege escalation. Wikipedia
  2. The Unix "Dirty COW" bug that allowed attackers to gain root access to Unix-based systems.

How to Protect Your Network against Privilege Escalation

  1. Regularly update and patch all systems and software.
  2. Employ least privilege principles and monitor for unusual activity.