Posted Feb 15, 2007 21:21 UTC (Thu) by rfunk
In reply to: Linux botnets
Parent article: Linux botnets
This is an old debate. But you'll be hard-pressed to find an experienced professional
sysadmin who will allow remote root logins.
Allowing direct root access means that root access is not revokable per-admin; if the
password is somehow compromised (e.g. an admin is fired or is careless with the
password) you have to change the root password and communicate that to all admins
(with the associated insecurity of that communication). If admins are getting root from
their own accounts, then it's sufficient to disable or re-password a single admin's account
without affecting other admins.
So in the sudo case, if that one password is guessed, it's easier to recover than in the
single remote-root case.
Just running a root shell is dangerous. It's much better to be root only for what needs to
be done as root, to avoid accidents or possibly tripping over sabotage (e.g. someone
having gotten in and messing with your ls command).
This slashdot comment is one place that covers the issue well:
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