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  •  Sudo is using root (7+ / 0-)

    and in some cases it's less secure since most of the time it's set up so you don't need the root password. I don't use it on any of my personal machines and most sysads only use it so they don't have to remember the totally randomized password for the non-direct access allowed root account.

    Usually all you really need is to disable password authentication and set up certificate authentication for ssh. That pretty much eliminates brute force attacks. Someone would have to be really dedicated to try to brute force their way in that way because it would require generating keys and trying them until one finally worked. With a 1024 bit key, that would probably take decades unless someone got incredibly lucky, and in that case they need to go enter the lottery.

    So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 10:36:06 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Ha (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChangeToWin

      I'd agree with you on certificate auth for public facing machines - it's a pretty secure solution.  

      But I think you're wrong about sudo.  Yes, it does escalate execution to root privilege, but it's way more controlled than either su or a plain old root shell.  You can limit the commands that can be executed by a given user to just what they need.  And the no-password configuration is something that needs to be explicitly configured - the sysadmin has to be lazy.

      •  Yes, you can configure Sudo for specific commands (0+ / 0-)

        I do it all the time for my clients' users so they can run specific commands as root or other accounts. Few sysadmins use the no password option. Sudo is set up by default to request the password of the account from which the sudo command is running. If the account is compromised, the cracker has the password so it's not a deterrent. When I set someone up for root shell, sudo is configured so they have to know the root password.

        I've been doing this for nearly 15 years now. I think I know what sudo does and how it works. On my own servers I'm the only one who has command line access so sudo isn't an advantage for me.

        Best practices for Unix security:

        Don't allow remote logins for root
        Use only certificate authentication for SSH
        Shut down all unused services

        If you do those three things, the likelihood of getting cracked and compromised is just a hair above null. That's because with all the other unsecured systems out there it's not worth a cracker's time to try to gain control of your system. Sure it's possible someone dedicated to the cause could get in but it's likely you'll notice the attempts long before that person is successful.

        So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 02:51:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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