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Re: sudo questions

On 8/14/2013 8:44 AM, Darac Marjal wrote:

I believe the idea is to discourage people from logging in as root. You
can't get rid of root completely (any user with an ID of 0 is root), nor
would you want to. But there have been many a horror story of people
logging in as a super-user (either Root on Linux or Adminstrator on
Windows) for day-to-day work - perhaps to work around some permissions
issue or something.

'sudo' is preferred over 'su' because A) it allows for better control of
who can do what - if you want a user to be able to run 'foo' as root
without being asked for their password, you can do that B) the simple
interface (just adding one keyword before a command line) encourages
users to run JUST ONE command as root - 'su' makes it all too easy to
switch to a root shell and forget to switch back.

Now, I don't believe there's been any active discouragement of doing
things 'the old way'. It's just that, as linux becomes more popular, it
needs to become more 'user friendly' - and that means robustness against
user folly.

I agree in principle that sudo is better then su. The problem I have with it is security; when you use sudo you type in your own password. So if your password is compromised, the hacker can do anything the sudo user can do - which may be very bad.

For instance, I'm the sysadmin on my VPS's. root is blocked from logging in. However, as sysadmin I need access to pretty much everything at some time or another. If I allow my id to have sudo access to everything and someone gets my password, then they can really screw up the system.

However, when I use su, I need to key in the root password before doing anything. This adds another layer of security to the system. But obviously I don't want to give out the root password to others.

What I would like to see is the option to require users to have a second password (neither their login nor root password) to use sudo. I know it's another password - but as an option it would increase security.


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