[sf-lug] recovery from loss of root password

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Oct 4 13:40:36 PDT 2007

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):
> On 9/27/07, Christian Einfeldt <einfeldt at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > chroot /tmp/hda1
> > > passwd
> >
> >
> > heh, here is a /. article which talks about chroot as a security weakness,
> > if I am reading the summary correctly.  I haven't read the story yet.
> >
> > http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/09/27/2256235.shtml
> >
> >
> hmm, but the comments are trashing the assertion that chroot is insecure...
> because chroot requires root access!

1.  Christian, please don't try to learn security fron Slashdot.

2.  To understand what Alan Cox meant when he said "chroot is not and
never has been a security tool", you would have to read the remainder of
the LKML thread.  (Actually, he's overstating his point:  Used
carefully, it is a useful means of constraining what a non-root user
can do and where he/she can go, assuming of course that he/she cannot 
escalate privilege to root.)

3.  In any event, in the scenario discussed upthread, where you are
booting a system into single-user mode from the console, you _are_
inherently the root user.  You Da Man.  You're a microcosmic god.  
In that context, any holes in either chroot or someone's usage of it
are rather beside the point.

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