Subject: Re: the daily/weekly/monthly scripts
To: Sam Carleton <>
From: gabriel rosenkoetter <>
List: tech-security
Date: 07/24/2001 23:16:23
On Tue, Jul 24, 2001 at 08:26:22PM -0400, Sam Carleton wrote:
> P.S.  I did not know that it was a bad thing for root to use a mail program.
> Is that because of virus?  Or something else?

Because doing anything that doesn't explicity require uid 0
privilege with it is a Bad Thing.

It's for largely the same reason that email viruses are such a huge
problem in the Windows world. It's unlikely one would see Unix-aimed
email virus (as most Unix admins know quite well that doing random
stuff as root is a Grade A1 Bad Idea), though it's clearly not

The general point is that you'll save yourself a lot of headaches by
only using uid 0 when you need it. Making mistakes as root is
*very* permanent. The Unix permission structure is there to keep
you from making these kinds of mistakes.

       ~ g r @