sudo without password

Michael T. Richter ttmrichter at
Wed Jun 7 06:28:28 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-07-06 at 02:04 -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:

> > > > Note that doing this is a very bad idea from a security standpoint....

> > > And none of this makes the slightest difference to the well-being of the
> > > single most important stuff on your computer: Your own files.

> > > So.............. a 'very bad idea from a security standpoint'... hardly.

> > This is a point that seems to be missed in the UNIX community a lot: the
> > vast majority of computer users no longer run on time-shared, multi-user
> > systems.  "Security" is "me and my files" not "my system because if it
> > goes down hundreds of others are inconvenienced".

> > It's a different world.  UNIX will catch up sometime.

> If I screw up and make my data available to someone, that hurts me.

And that is the most common security exploit even under Windows.  You
lose your data.  We just hear about the other ones more because a)
they're the scary ones and sensationalism always wins out over numbers
and b) they're the ones that we're more likely to see in the wild when
they hit (by their very nature).

> If I screw up and compromise my machine and give it over to some 
> spammer/phisher/[insert favorite net crime here], then I've hurt the entire 
> internet.

How nicely full of hubris.  "My little laptop will bring down the

Tragically, however, the worst attacks ever only brought down a part of
the Internet for small periods of time (relatively speaking).

> It's a different world.  UNIX was designed for it.

UNIX was designed long before there was an Internet.  And its security
model shows it.  (Sudo is an afterthought, not the primary model.)  A
modern security model would be capabilities-based -- you know, two
generations of security architecture past what UNIX was designed with.

Michael T. Richter
Email: ttmrichter at, mtr1966 at
MSN: ttmrichter at, mtr1966 at; YIM:
michael_richter_1966; AIM: YanJiahua1966; ICQ: 241960658; Jabber:
mtr1966 at

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not
either to save or to destroy slavery." --Abraham Lincoln
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