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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Why Do You SUDO The Way You Do?

Posted March 21, 2011    Peter McCalister

In the land of Unix and Linux systems administration, nothing seems to elicit such polar love and hate as does the use of SUDO for root rights elevation.

Pro SUDO: The single biggest cry for support of SUDO tends to be “it’s Free!” or “it came with my OS”.  We have discussed SUDO at length in previous blogs, so I won’t repeat ground covered here.  Suffice it to say that SUDO has been in use since “around 1980″, when it was developed by Bob Coggeshal and Cliff Spencer and made available as opensource software.  Currently it is actively developed and maintained by Todd Miller and distributed under a BSD style license.  The second biggest cry for support is “but it passed my last audit.”

Con SUDO: The amount of effort required for configuration and maintenance, especially since SUDO requires separate sudoers files on each server instead of centralizing policy management and reporting.  Nothing is truly free when it comes to freeware. Periodic review of sudoer files alone can be so time consuming as to potentially miss an audit or inhibit other more pressing priorities.  Yes, you can create a “Master Sudoers” file but once it is copied to a server it could be edited independently. It is also very difficult to map master entitlement reports to actual SUDO commands across the extended enterprise especially in a changing environment. And finally as Google just discovered, whenever you have an opensource solution the possibility of malware injection escalates significantly.

Ultimately, you will need to decide whether or not good is good enough long term and uncover what the true cost or “free” is to your organization…  so, why do you SUDO the way you do?  Once this is done and you would like more information on How Secure is Your SUDO the give us a call.

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Additional articles

6

A Quick Look at MS14-068

Posted November 20, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft recently released an out of band patch for Kerberos.  Taking a look at the Microsoft security bulletin, it seems like there is some kind of issue with Kerberos signatures related to tickets. Further information is available in the Microsoft SRD Blogpost So it looks like there is an issue with PAC signatures.  But what…

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Password Game Show

Managing Shared Accounts for Privileged Users: 5 Best Practices for Achieving Control and Accountability

Posted November 20, 2014    Scott Lang

How do organizations ensure accountability of shared privileged accounts to meet compliance and security requirements without impacting administrator productivity? Consider these five best practices…

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Triggering MS14-066

Triggering MS14-066

Posted November 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft addressed CVE-2014-6321 this Patch Tuesday, which has been hyped as the next Heartbleed.  This vulnerability (actually at least 2 vulnerabilities) promises remote code execution in applications that use the SChannel Security Service Provider, such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). The details have been scarce.  Lets fix that. Looking at the bindiff of schannel.dll, we see a…

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