Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2006 16:05 UTC, submitted by sogabe
Zeta IsComputerOn.com takes a first look at the ZETA's multiuser capabilities currently under development. This is "a first beta, usable but still incomplete and with bugs" reports ICO. The article uses screenshots to show what multiuser looks like in ZETA, and describes how to create user accounts, as well as some of the existing problems with the implementation which, hopefully, will be fixed before release. As Magnussoft told us a few days ago, multiuser support will be available as an update to the upcoming ZETA 1.21, but no release date is mentioned.
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by looncraz on Thu 14th Sep 2006 19:12 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

In BeOS run-as shouldn't be publicly implemented, it should be ENTIRELY hidden from the user, they should only need to have a password. The application itself, when requesting restricted data, would inadvertently cause a system-dialogue to appear prompting for permission either for the application to be spawned, or for it to perform a certain function.

Should a password fail to be entered, the application can be prevented from instantiation or action, this is simple, even for OLD existing non-open sourced programs, you simply return a non B_OK as a result of the attempt. You could return B_PERMISSION_DENIED, for instance in the lower levels of the system, until they get caught by modified posix code and public AND private API in user-space, which will cause a wait_for_permission() calls, the user will enter a password, that password is sent to the kernel, where it converts it into unrecognizable and uninterperetable data (i.e. an MD5sum/hash or the like), and compares it to permitted actions for any matching user, or returns an error, meaning bad password for allowing this action.

I believe most computer users (meaning, grammy and gramps, joe sixpack) would just assume set a password on their system to allow those actions and not give a rats arse about what user that password is attached to, even if none.

They would then probably enjoy the ability to temporarily highten security on the system even further, protecting the system from ALL attempts from user-space applications to write to disk, but reading is okay except for whatever folders they have already marked as highly-secured (always needs a password to enter, even if logged in as the same user) or system folders. Applications could be allowed certain psuedo-actions. As in, we could watch and log changes that had been attempted by normal trusted application signatures (Firefox, etc..) and durning this lock-out allow just those programs to write to data where it is known they must write to function. Users would most likely like to be able to add more very simply, some would even like to start at 0, hide the entire interface, and only allow a select few applications to run, but those perfectly uninhindered, to the point where the system password is automatically "entered" except for the highest levels of security.

That works in LoonTracker using a VERY simple scheme.

By default LoonTracker protects certain system folders. And that is all. You will either be alerted, or prompted for a password, if you supplied one during installation when a restricted action is attempted. The system folders are simply made read-only en-mass unless the password is entered. LoonTracker watches for attempts to change permissions on a file, and can successfully intervene in that process now, though no follow-up has yet been done.

From that point, securing a folder is simple to the user. The user can right-click on the folder and goto Get Info, or Secure Folder (under the new 'Actions' submenu, whose entries can be extended by Tracker extensions).

Once the user gets to the "Secure Folder' window, which is displaying current security options, which will be none, the user can select "Enable security for
this folder." Now, security level restriction is simple.

[]Require Password To View Contents in folder.
[]Require Password To Open Files in folder.
[]Require Password To Change Files in folder.

[]Only Accept System Password

[ Add Folder Password ] [ Revert] [ Save ]

It is worded different, but it doesn't matter.

Notice that the user can add passwords to allow actions on this folder.

Each password can allow different actions. Meaning you can allow your business partner to do whatever to those files, but use a different password. You can allow your wife to see your non-XXX files, keeping them hidden unless she figures out your password, at which time you are royaly screwed...

Get it?

I am always looking for new ideas as an avid developer in this particular area, so all suggestions are welcome.

--The loon

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