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No shell => secure?
From: Matthias Benkmann <msbREMOVE-THIS () winterdrache de>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 12:04:53 +0200

I can't say I've looked at much exploit-code so far but the POC exploits
to gain root I've seen for Linux all executed /bin/sh. I'd like to know if
this is true for in-the-wild exploits to root a box, too. If so, would it
be a useful security measure to rename /bin/sh and other shells (after
making sure that everything that needs them has been updated to the new
name, of course)?

I'm aware that a dedicated attacker who targets my box specifically will
not be stopped by this but I don't think I have such enemies. I also know
that DOS is still possible, but that's also not my concern. I'm simply
worried about script kiddies using standard exploits against random
servers on the Internet rooting my box faster than I can patch it. 

If renaming the shell is not enough, how about renaming all of the
standard Unix top-level directories (such as /bin, /etc,...)? Would that
defeat standard exploits to root a box?

MSB

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