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Re: /dev/openprom problems - Solaris 1 or Solaris 2
From: strombrg () hydra acs uci edu (Dan Stromberg)
Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 11:08:31 -0700


On Fri, 24 May 1996, Matthew Harding wrote:

Note that this is a registered bugid with Sun (1222940) but
it is marked closed with no patch. Why? Because Sun's
solution for SunOS 4.1.x is to remove permissions from
/dev/openprom for unprivileged users, without actually fixing
the problem. No comment on this approach to "security"...

1) 1.x is dead.  They'd be shooting themselves in the foot to fix this
kind of problem in 1.x.

2) The problem is infinitesimal in 2.x.  (see #5, below)

3) If you chmod the file under 1.x, treat as #2, above.

4) One might argue that they should issue a patch for 1.x, consisting of
nothing more than a README that says "chmod 640 /dev/openprom".  I don't
see this as being of huge benefit, however.  With this one, if you know
the bug exists, you know how to make it a non-issue also.

5) It makes vastly more sense for sun (or or any other OS development
team) to spend time on new features, instead of fixing "problems" where
priviledged users "can" crash their own machines (/oh boy!  I get to
crash a machine I'm responsible for!/).  Consider:

        dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s1.

This is a generally bad thing to do, but I sure don't want _any_ vendor to
waste time disallowing dd'ing to certain partitions.  (If someone tries out
that dd command, I'm not responsible for the results.)


It's helpful to fish around for bugs, no matter what their significance, but
it is more helpful if one also maintains a sense of where these bugs
fit into the overall picture, which is: setting up operating systems that
allow users to get things done.  This should include minimizing
boobytraps waiting for sysadmins, which result in downtime for users -
but even that doesn't really apply in this case.


BTW, I just added a "chmod 640 /dev/openprom" to our SunOS 4.1.x
autoinstall environment.  Any new 4.1.4 boxes we set up (very few), will
have this fixed automatically.



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