ssh default security risc

Gert Cuykens gert.cuykens at
Thu Feb 3 16:04:36 PST 2005

On Fri, 04 Feb 2005 00:05:34 +0000, Chris Hodgins
<chodgins at> wrote:
> Gert Cuykens wrote:
> > On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 23:34:42 +0000, Chris Hodgins
> > <chodgins at> wrote:
> >
> >>Gert Cuykens wrote:
> >>
> >>>By default the root ssh is disabled. If a dedicated server x somewhere
> >>>far far away doesn't have root ssh enabled the admin is pretty much
> >>>screwed if they hack his user  account and change the user password
> >>>right ?
> >>>
> >>>So is it not better to enable it by default ?
> >>>_______________________________________________
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> >>
> >>Every unix box has a root account.  Not every unix box has a jblogs
> >>account.  Lets take the example of a brute-force attempt.  The first
> >>thing I would do would be to attack roots password.  I know the account
> >>exists.  Might as well go for the big prize first.
> >>
> >>So having a root account enabled is definetly a bad thing.
> >>
> >>Chris
> >>
> >
> >
> > Do you agree a user acount is most of the time more vonerable then the
> > root account ?
> Assuming you know the username then maybe.  It depends on the strength
> of the users password.  If they are only using private keys with
> passphrases then you probably won't be getting access that way with any
> account.
> >
> > If they can hack the root they can defenatly hack a user account too.
> > So i dont see any meaning of disabeling it.
> If they can hack root they own the system and can do what they like.  By
> disabling root you remove the option of this happening.  Instead they
> have to try and compromise a user account.  Once they compromise the
> user account, they then have to gain root access (assuming that is their
> goal).  Why bother with the hassle.  There are plenty of machines out
> there already with weak root passwords.  If a hacker really wants into
> your system he will find a way.
> Chris

True but the point is without the ssh root enabled there is nothing
you can do about it to stop them if they change your user password

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