[TAG] (forw) Re: (forw) Re: (forw) Re: (forw) Re: lpr works for user not root in Basiclinux 2.1
rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 30 06:08:46 MSK 2007
----- Forwarded message from Sindi Keesan <keesan at grex.cyberspace.org> -----
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 21:49:11 -0500 (EST)
From: Sindi Keesan <keesan at grex.cyberspace.org>
To: TAG <tag at lists.linuxgazette.net>
To: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: [TAG] (forw) Re: (forw) Re: (forw) Re: lpr works for user not
root in Basiclinux 2.1
On Mon, 29 Jan 2007, Rick Moen wrote:
>Quoting Sindi Keesan (keesan at grex.cyberspace.org):
>>I am not a guy.
>OK, apologies about my limited knowledge of names; I keep trying to
>learn them from additional countries, but have a great many I've not yet
>studied -- and the English language is hopelessly ill-equipped for
>dealing with non-specified gender. (Finnish and Turkish are better.)
>Of course, if I were wandering around Tirana, I'd learn some Albanian
>names and conventions, quickly. ;->
I have never been there, I only learned Albanian while living in Skopje
for a couple of years. I took to spelling my name this way while living
in Belgrade so that it would be pronounced correctly. Instead of Tsindoo.
And then discovered it has some meaning in some Indian language when a
would-be chatter refused to stop chatting with me in (?) Punjabi.
>(FWIW, American informal English increasingly uses "guys" to refer to
>both sexes, this being a tangle that cannot be undone in any clean
Only in the plural, and not everywhere in the country. Michigan uses 'you
guys' like other places use 'you all' or 'you uns' or 'youse'. One guy is
>>Do I need to test firewalls when I don't have one?
>No. You might be curious about the results, though. I included that
>third command because those are the three I always run -- and the third
>one doesn't take significant time.
>>Do I need a firewall if I am not running servers and use a modem?
>What security measures you take, generally, should be dictated by your
>assessment of threats and your resulting security policy. (The lack of
>an explicit policy results in a default policy.)
I don't know enough to assess these things. Yet. So have been following
the recommendations of others in our support group, which is not to run
things like telnetd online. And to go online with Opera as user because
it might be buggy.
Is the threat that someone will get files onto my computer that will let
them use it to send spam? Or delete my files? (I have lots more copies).
Or steal my online banking info? (I don't have any). The 1991 security
problems were often people stealing the hardware, according to a book I
have on system administration.
>A "firewall" script (set of IP/port blocking rules) is a device to
>counter some particular anticipated threat. It comes with disadvantages
>in interference with open connectivity and system complexity that should
>be obvious upon reflection. Whether those disadvantages are warranted
Obvious only if I can make sense of it. Which would require more reading.
I was told to use as firewall:
ipchains -P forward DENY
ipchains -A forward -s 192.168.1.0/24 -j MASQ
The two computers are in the same local network as 192.168.1.0 .
Is this specific to using the computer as a default gateway?
>depends on your local policy, and on the particulars of that script and
>>I found 30 pages online at
>>www.yiluda.net/manual/linux/rute/node29.html, of which the first 5 are
>>semiunderstandable without a dictionary.
>I like RUTE very much, and highly respect your enterprising spirit in
>tackling it, but can't help thinking it probably exceeds the needs of
>your current situation.
Can you recommend a good online tutorial about networking and firewalls
and security which is smaller?
>>>I didn't tell you to run nmap.
>>Someone on the TAG list asked about chkrootkit and someone said to
>>scan my ports so I downloaded programs to do both, and neither of them
>>found any problems or potential problems. I am at least learning a
>My apologies for my part in any confusion. I hope you find the tips
>about how to best use nmap useful -- in some future situation, if not
>your present one.
The more I learn the more confusion ;=)
>>How would someone install a trojanned copy of nmap when I never have
>>any ports open to come through?
>One way (among many others) might be to somehow convince you to retrieve
>and run a trojaned executable. (If you tell me you won't do that,
>that's interesting but it's just one example.)
I did not compile nmap, the author of our distribution provided it. I did
compile chkrootkit from what looked like an official site.
I don't see how running as user would prevent the above anyway.
>>If I had a trojanned copy, why did I not find it with 'which nmap',
>>which finds any executables on the path, when I renamed the downloaded
>Hyopthetically, an intruder might have replaced your downloaded nmap with
>a trojaned version, between the time you downloaded nmap and some time
>you ran it. That sabotage could be an automated process, left in
>background to continue to hide the intruder from a suspicious admin.
>Alternatively, the intruder might have trojaned the console libraries,
>such that nmap itself is OK, but the trojaned console libraries censor
>its reports. There are a myriad of other ways: The point is that,
>whenever you use the software of a suspect system to examine the system
>itself, you are in some measure trusting software that you have some
>reason to distrust. That is why it is, generally speaking, smarter to
>examine a host's network behaviour from a network-wise nearby node
>rather than from the host itself.
Like running f-prot from write-protected floppy disks.
>>How can someone put files on my computer if I am not running a server
>>and I don't even download emails to my own computer (I use pine at a
>If indeed (almost) the only network access you make is outbound ssh or
>telnet (via PPP or otherwise), and you don't run any network daemons
>(except X11, which is reachable from localhost only), and the only
>exception to that is a couple of Web browsers that you run "su - user",
>and you never fetch and run executables, then it's indeed difficult to
>think offhand of a credible attack vector -- other than a kernel
>exploit, which would have us all in trouble.
I have compiled a few executables which have not attacked me. How would I
know if source code was not to be trusted?
My friends will not even have a compiler. So it appears they are safe,
with su user opera. (Links2 and links cannot be used that way - cannot
exectue binary file - but I can login as user to use them).
>Because you are running a big heap of code as the root user, including
>all of X11, you _are_ setting up a situation where any flaw in that
>stack that can be exploited will be fatal to security, as opposed to the
>standard security model where the attacker cannot easily attack via
>flaws in _pairs_ of codebases for lack of a common set of access
>permissions between them, and where the attacker must have the use of
>both code flaws and paths to escalate privilege. You model is thus what
>we would call "brittle" in the sense that flaws can cause disaster
>overall that normally would affect only a limited subsystem.
Sounds like I have been lucky for four years.
>Please note that the "su - user" method you use to run Opera/lynx
>still means that the less-trusted browser process is resting on a
>fundamental root-user parent process, which may be reachable by remote
>attack in ways not possible if there is no underlying root process.
>Anyway, beyond that, I am not kidding: I am not going to go out of my
>way to help someone who insists on routinely using the root account --
>and on running X11 as root -- in dealing with other security issues.
>I've stated my reasons: If you don't accept them, that's your
>privilege, but helping other people by preference is mine.
My list people told me a way to dump people into X when they start
(inittab?) but I have no idea how I could log them in as user and then
start X automatically. I can have them dial from an rxvt as user - would
that help? And run opera as user.
Information overload for tonight. Thanks again for the help.
----- End forwarded message -----
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