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Re: Security Practices question

  • From: Scott Francis
  • Date: Mon Sep 23 17:50:16 2002

On Sun, Sep 22, 2002 at 03:22:11PM -0700, said:
> I have question for the security community on NANOG.
> What is your learned opinion of having host accounts
> (unix machines) with UID/GID of 0:0 
> otherwords
> jmbrown_r:password:0:0:John M. Brown:/export/home/jmbrown:/bin/mysh
> The argument is that way you don't hav to give out the root password,
> you can just nuke a users UID=0 equiv account when the leave and not
> have to change the real root account.

This is a really /really/ REALLY bad idea. I had nightmare issues dealing
with a network formerly run by a 'sysadmin' who thought every user that might
need to do something as root should have a uidzero account. I seriously
cannot think of ANY scenario, no matter how improbable, in which what you're
suggesting would be a good idea (or even defensible).

> Now, don't flame me over the question, but provide valid pro's or con's
> for this practice from your experience.

Names on accounts are strictly an abstraction to make interacting with the
system easier for us dumb humans. In reality, there is only one UID 0, no
matter how many copies of it you make. This means there is NO difference
between giving out the root password to everybody, and giving everybody UID 0
accounts. None. As far as the system is concerned, the two are one and the

> thank you.
> the reason I'm asking is important.

Even were it not, I'd still urge you - please do not consider this a valid

> john brown
-= Scott Francis || darkuncle (at) darkuncle (dot) net =-
  GPG key CB33CCA7 has been revoked; I am now 5537F527
        illum oportet crescere me autem minui

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