SU vulnerability

Ben Stringer ben at
Fri Dec 9 09:13:42 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-12-09 at 11:59 +0500, Sergey wrote:
> Long time ago I decided to protect my system by allowing *ONLY* users in wheel 
> group to su to root. This allows to protect the system. Regardless where you 
> know the root password or not - you can not su as long as system 
> administrator does not put you into wheel group.
> As I know this is the default behaviour of FreeBSD.
> In redhat you do it by uncommenting line in /etc/pam.d/su
> # Uncomment the following line to require a user to be in the "wheel" group.
> auth       required     /lib/security/$ISA/ use_uid
> This protects both su and kdesu.
> What do you think? This is useless - it does not protect the system at all, as 
> I've thought for a long time.
> System-config-users utility - a little program to manage users has *NOTHING*, 
> not even a little mention anywhere, that it breaks the security.

So, add the same line to /etc/pam.d/system-config-users

Otherwise, all you have done is to change the handling of security for
the "su" executable, nothing else.

Cheers, Ben

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