Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Feb 2012 23:11 UTC
Linux Linus Torvalds on requiring the root password for mundane tasks. "So here's a plea: if you have anything to do with security in a distro, and think that my kids (replace 'my kids' with 'sales people on the road' if you think your main customers are businesses) need to have the root password to access some wireless network, or to be able to print out a paper, or to change the date-and-time settings, please just kill yourself now. The world will be a better place." Yes, it's harsh (deal with it, Finns don't beat around the bush), but he's completely and utterly right. While there's cases where it makes sense to disable certain settings (public terminals, for instance), it is utterly idiotic that regular home users have to type in their root password for such mundane tasks.
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laffer1
Member since:
2007-11-09

Most people setup sudo to gain full access, not to run select programs. Of course it's capable of that, but it's rarely used in the wild. Most linux distros ship with it enabled like a root account.

I've seen people enable sshd on root accounts without using a key. Then they got owned. Everyday I see brute force attempts against root on my server. It's ignorant because BSD defaults to root disabled. They also had sudo turned on.

Like any tool, sudo can be used correctly but unfortunately people don't use it this way. Just because you setup your server competently doesn't mean it's common.

As for mail servers, I wasn't talking enterprise here. No LDAP. I'm thinking web hosting, virtual private servers and small shops. Anyone using sendmail + an imap server is probably using system accounts. That's default. Some of those accounts probably have shell access, especially in a hosting scenario. You don't have to agree with me, but I've seen it. I used to work for hosting companies.

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