recovery from stupid error

skaller skaller at
Thu Jul 14 23:46:26 CDT 2005

On Thu, 2005-07-14 at 18:01 -0700, Judd Pickell wrote:



Security is not about absolutes. You cannot absolutely
prevent terrorists on public transport. But you can
remove the garbage bins from stations (done where I live,
and it is annoying). You can increase the number of guards
and spy cameras. You can introduce metal detectors. Etc etc.

None of these security measures *prevent* abuse of a system, but
maybe they help reduce the frequency of abuse.

In my case, on my Ubuntu box, I have given root a password
for security reasons. Why? As you point out it does not
prevent access to my computer.

But it does:

* require ME to type in a password to gain privileges

  This is most important: it protects me from me

* require my FRIENDS to ask me to grant them that access if they
  want it whilst playing around on my computer

  This is important too: it protects my friends from
  feeling guilty if they mess up. Some of them
  even know my password .. the ones that would never
  use it without my permission.

This protection is not absolute -- I managed to delete my
home directory... :)

But it is definitely a security measure to require
a secret password to gain access to privilege in the
normal environment my system is in: logged in with
the desktop running.

John Skaller <skaller at users dot sourceforge dot net>

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