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Setting the record straight on sudo

Filed under
Software
Security

I recently read a blog posting that denounced the use of sudo as insecure because of the following (briefly summed up and paraphrased) reasons:

1. The idea that not using the root account is wrong, using root for everything is fine.
2. That using sudo for everything provides a false sense of security over performing an action as root directly
3. That using a user account password to get a root shell is a bad idea
4. That using a root shell is not dangerous, and that this “grave misunderstanding” came from the idea that running X as root is dangerous
5. That sudo has very little place in the Enterprise
6. That relying on sudo is foolish, because it has bugs
7. That everything should be done from a root shell, and that you should have to know the “uber-secret root password” to get that access

My first reaction to this blog posting was that the author had no idea how to use sudo properly or why you would want to. My second reaction was to give a big thank you to Ubuntu and OS X that, by default, provide a password-less root account and give administrators sudo access to everything, which pretty much leads to these kinds of silly anti-sudo articles.

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