Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (602 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] Re: [PLEASE SPEAK UP] Disabling legacy file systems by default?
On 12/02/2019 14:15, Michal Kubecek wrote:
On Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:04 Liam Proven wrote:
On 2/12/19 2:35 PM, Michal Kubecek wrote:
Not really. In Ubuntu, there is still an almighty root account with
all consequences and hiding it does not change that. If you really
want to move in the direction of solving the problem, you should
rather learn SELinux, not praise Ubuntu for their pseudosecurity
That's what the word "accessible" was for. That was the reason I
inserted it. You did notice it, right?

Yes there is a root account, but you can't log in, can't ``su'' to it
or anything else.
...which is why people end up doing crazy things like "sudo su -". And,
voilà, they have a root shell anyway, except all they needed was the
regular user's password. That's supposed to be the security improvement,
having to write "sudo su -" rather than just "su -"?

This is an example of a pragmatic improvement.
That's no improvement. That's an example of papering over problems which
looks cool but does not in fact improve anything at all.

[1] It's a small change, it means only one password to remember
(because 99% of modern end-user computers only have a single user for
their entire life, so all the multiuser stuff is legacy cruft now for
most users).
Use the same password for your regular user and root account then. You
will also have "only one password to remember" and about the same level
of "security" as in Ubuntu.

[2] It also removes the temptation to use the OS like Windows and
always log in as the system administrator (as Puppy Linux does, for
instance, which is just one of the reasons I don't recommend it. The
creator came over from Windows 9x and doesn't understand the point
behind user accounts.)
How exactly? By forcing you to type those 5 extra characters?

[3] It also means that there _is_ no hidden root password for anyone
to find out, social engineer, whatever, and if they did find a way to
get to the account, they couldn't log in anyway.
Except that there is regular user password which is sufficient to do
anything so that the attacker does not need the root password and can
"find out, social engineer, whatever" that one.

A small, simple, effective change, as opposed to a large, complex,
system-wide change which broke lots of things. (And which, in the form
of AppArmour, _additionally_ has an incompatible rival.)
Ever heard "For each complicated problem, there is an elegant, simple
and easy to understand solution which has only one tiny weaknes: it does
not actually solve the problem."?

Michal Kubecek

This is an argument/flame war that surfaced here a long time back.

"sudo su" followed by "passwd root" and be done with the nonsense I argued but some saw it differently for reasons not understood, perhaps believing "sudo su" was a shield against having root access.



Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks

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