I asked this question over on the Raspberry Pi forums in an attempt to keep it low key, but I can't seem to find it now, so I'll ask it here. It is on-topic and definitely specific to the Raspberry Pi.
There is a lot of news in the security channels recently about a local exploit on Apple OS X that allows a non-authorized user to append a line to the sudoers file to allow the use of sudo without entering credentials. The Register has an article describing the exploit. Essentially, a user with local access can add themselves to the sudoers file to bypass password authentication for use of
My question isn't about the exploit, but rather the implications: A user able to use
sudo to execute root commands without entering credentials, particularly when coupled with an account that ships exposed (on raspbian) to the network with a well-known default password
I don't see how the resulting situation on an Apple is fundamentally different than the default situation on a RPi. A non-root user is able to execute root-level commands without entering credentials.
1. A user on the Mac not in sudoers can add themselves.
2. The default 'pi' user account on every raspbian install has a fixed, well-known password as well as ability to execute root commands with
3. [Edit] The RPi, by default, listens on the network.
So which is the bigger deal? A Mac user who could elevate procedures if and only if they have access, or an RPi with a default password and the same access?
- Shouldn't the same fuss be made about raspbian?
- Where would a new raspbian user reasonably be expected to be made aware of this issue and how to fix it before connecting to the outside world?
It has been pointed out that was is a Raspberry Pi foundation decision and not raspbian, debian or linux per se. Nearly every other Linux distribution I've used over the last 10 years has required creation of a new user account with a non-default password, as well as the use of the password when executing
sudo commands as the initial user.
The near immediate discussion about possibly voting to close indicates to me that the idea of a security issue on raspbian isn't considered as seriously as similar threats on other platforms. Is honest discussion about the topic is not welcome here?