Welcome to Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial
"The place where you learn linux"
Linux Magazine - Missing Anything?

 Create an AccountHome | Submit News | Your Account  

Tutorial Menu
Linux Tutorial Home
Table of Contents
Up to --> Linux Tutorial

· Security
· Real Threats
· Restricting Access
· Passwords
· File Access
· The Root Account
· The Network
· What You Can Do About It

Glossary
MoreInfo
Man Pages
Linux Topics
Test Your Knowledge

Site Menu
Site Map
FAQ
Copyright Info
Terms of Use
Privacy Info
Disclaimer
WorkBoard
Thanks
Donations
Advertising
Masthead / Impressum
Your Account

Communication
Feedback
Forums
Private Messages
Recommend Us
Surveys

Features
HOWTOs
News
News Archive
Submit News
Topics
User Articles
Web Links

Google
Google


The Web
linux-tutorial.info

Who's Online
There are currently, 311 guest(s) and 1 member(s) that are online.

You are an Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here

  
Linux Tutorial - Security - The Root Account
  File Access ---- The Network  


The Root Account

There is also access to the all powerful root account. On a Linux system root can do anything. Although it is possible to restrict roots access to certain functions, a knowledgeable user with root privileges can overcome that. There are many instances where you have several people administering some aspect of the system, such as printers or the physical network. I have seen it myself where one person says "Well, he has root access, why can't I?"

Access to the root account should be limited for a couple of reasons. First, the more people with root access, the more people who have complete control over the system. This makes access control difficult.

Also, the more people that have root access, the more fingers get pointed. I know from experience that there are people who are going to deny having done something wrong. Often this results in a corrupt system, as there are everyone has the power to do everything, someone did something that messed up the system somehow and no one will admit. Sound familiar?

The fewer people that have root, the fewer fingers need to be pointed and the fewer people can pass the buck. Not that what they did was malicious, mistakes do happen. If there are fewer people with root access and something goes wrong, tracking down the cause is much easier.

Rather than several users all having the root password, some people think that it is safer to create several users all with the UID of root. Their belief is that since there are several lognames, it's easier to keep track of things. Well, the problem in that thinking is that the system keeps track of track of users by the UID. There is no way to keep these users separate, once they log in.

My personal suggestion is that if several users need root powers, that you make it company policy that no one logs in as root. Instead, you grant each required user the su system privilege. They then login with their own account and do an su to root. Although everything is still done as root, a record of who did the su can be written to /var/adm/syslog.

Once an intruder gains root access, then your entire system is compromised. It is therefore important to not only limit who has access as root, but to record who uses the root account. One way is to implement a policy that no one logs in as root, but must first login with their own account and then do an su to gain access to root.

Another security precaution is to define secure terminals. These are the only terminals that the root user can login from. In my opinion, it is best to only consider directly connected terminals as "secure". That is, the root user can log into the system console, but not across the network. To get access as root across the network, a user must first login under their own account and then use su. This also provides a record of who used the root account and when.

 Previous Page
File Access
  Back to Top
Table of Contents
Next Page 
The Network


MoreInfo

Test Your Knowledge

User Comments:


You can only add comments if you are logged in.

Copyright 2002-2009 by James Mohr. Licensed under modified GNU Free Documentation License (Portions of this material originally published by Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc). See here for details. All rights reserved.
  
Help us cut cost by not downloading the whole site!
Use of automated download sofware ("harvesters") such as wget, httrack, etc. causes the site to quickly exceed its bandwidth limitation and therefore is expressedly prohibited. For more details on this, take a look here

Login
Nickname

Password

Security Code
Security Code
Type Security Code


Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As a registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.

Help if you can!


Amazon Wish List

Did You Know?
You can get all the latest Site and Linux news by checking out our news page.


Friends



Tell a Friend About Us

Bookmark and Share



Web site powered by PHP-Nuke

Is this information useful? At the very least you can help by spreading the word to your favorite newsgroups, mailing lists and forums.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters. Articles are the property of their respective owners. Unless otherwise stated in the body of the article, article content (C) 1994-2013 by James Mohr. All rights reserved. The stylized page/paper, as well as the terms "The Linux Tutorial", "The Linux Server Tutorial", "The Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial" and "The place where you learn Linux" are service marks of James Mohr. All rights reserved.
The Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial may contain links to sites on the Internet, which are owned and operated by third parties. The Linux Tutorial is not responsible for the content of any such third-party site. By viewing/utilizing this web site, you have agreed to our disclaimer, terms of use and privacy policy. Use of automated download software ("harvesters") such as wget, httrack, etc. causes the site to quickly exceed its bandwidth limitation and are therefore expressly prohibited. For more details on this, take a look here

PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
Page Generation: 0.06 Seconds