MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


Re: Fun with FUP and root.

Hi folks --

Sorry about that first message.

It seems at first glance that it'd be easy to include a userid check in
the server before the main loop and terminate the startup if the server is
being run as root.  Admittedly that's a hard-coded solution to a
human-ignorance problem, but can anyone think of a valid reason to run a
MOO as root?  If not, perhaps this would be a useful inclusion in the next

I suppose another option would be for FUP, fileio and any other
filesystem-access extensions to include a server-process uid check when
their builtins are called, and return an error if the server is running as
root.  Of course, that solution takes multiple people to implement, i.e. 
coordination between server hackers.  Perhaps not optimal. 


On Tue, 25 Feb 1997, Neil Fraser wrote:

> We just had an interesting situation at SchoolNet MOO.  The SchoolNet 
> computer was rebooted, and our new root (despite previous warnings) 
> restarted our MOO using his account.  Since our MOO has FUP installed we 
> were able to write a line to a file (which was created as a root-owned 
> file), chmod it +x, then using our Unix accounts move it from the files 
> directory to the bin directory.  Presto, now the MOO can execute any 
> command with root perms.  We tried it, and it worked.
> It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that MOOs with FUP and 
> root perms are a dangerous mix, but not every root knows just how 
> flexible a MOO can be (it isn't just a Dungeon game for the kiddies).  
> Fortunately only wizards who  have UNIX accounts can take advanage of 
> this situation when it arises.
>                                        Live Long and Prosper!  \\//_
>                                        Neil D. Fraser
>                                        SchoolNet Support Group
> Mail:  Web:

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