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The basics of secure admin privilege use with Unix

Jul 07, 2009, 21:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chad Perrin)

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"Some of my readers may find this a very basic article, presenting information that they already know like the backs of their hands. The frequency with which I see people — and even entire OS development teams — violating basic, common security sense with regard to secure administrative privilege use on Unix-like systems prompts me to explain those basics here, though. That does not necessarily mean they are stupid, of course; some of the “basics” are not at all obvious.

"The root account is probably the best place to start. Using the root account

"The standard administrative super-user account on Microsoft Windows is called Administrator. On Unix-like systems, it is called root instead. It’s normally a bad idea to use an administrative account for anything that you can do with a less privileged account, because any time you use any user account at all you expose that particular account to potential threats if the software run under that account’s privileges has a vulnerability that can allow someone to compromise the user account."

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