Subject: Re: NetBSD master CVS tree commits
To: None <tech-security@NetBSD.ORG>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: tech-security
Date: 02/24/1997 07:45:29
> root having no password is not synonymous to reduced security.

Well, it's reduced security compared to the same system with root's
password starred out. :-)

> in many cases it *may* be, but, these things are not inherently
> related.

The only way I can see to have any significant degree of security with
an empty root password field is to have no ttys marked secure and
nothing else that accepts username/password running (eg, xdm), and then
everyone able to "su root" must be very careful to never log in on a
sniffable channel with a reusable password, never log in on a
hijackable channel without encryption, etc.

How many systems really have their consoles insecure but their hardware
(boxes with cpus inside, disk drives, etc) secure?  Anyone with access
to the latter _can't_ be kept out.  I can't remember last time I saw a
machine whose console was that physically isolated from its cpu and

					der Mouse

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