A.2 Security issues
To be able to read from and write to the device files for the devices
fsc2 is supposed to control it needs permissions that often
only the root account has. Therefore
fsc2 per default gets
installed setuid'ed to root (i.e. it starts running with the
privileges of the root account, i.e. with the user and group ID of
the root account). But most of the time
fsc2 drops those
privileges and runs with only the effective user ID (
effective group ID (
EGID) of the users that started
fsc2, i.e. with the permissions that user normally has. Care
has been taken drop the extra privileges the root account has except
for the few places where either device files are accessed or log files
get written to.
Ig you feel uneasy about running a program setuid'ed to root (and I
fully sympathize with you if you do, I also don't do that;-) there are
alternatives, but which may requires some extra work. There are two
variables in the Makefile,
GROUP, that can be
used to avoid running
fsc2 with the full permissions of the
root account. If both are set the program runs with the
GID of the account and group specified by these variables in
all situations were it otherwise would run with root permissions.
(Only if neither of them is set then they default to
the program gets setuid'ed to root, i.e. as in the default case
discussed above.) But if only
GROUP is set then the program
becomes setgid'ed to this group, i.e. it will run with the
UID of the user but with the
GID of the group specified
GROUP - this may already give it high enough access
permissions for the device files if the device files are set up
accordingly (i.e. their permission bits are set to allow read and
write access to members of this group). It's also possible to specify
OWNER alone and in this case the program runs with the
UID of that process but the GID of the user.
In the most simple case where you didn't set these variables (or both
fsc2 has in principle all permissions the
root account has you don't have to care about the permission settings
for the device files.
In all other cases you have to make sure that either the account the
program belongs to or the group it belongs to has the necessary
permissions to read and write the required device files. If both
GROUP are set, the device files must be
readable and writable by either that account or that group (or both).
OWNER but not
GROUP is set they must be
accessible by the account specified by
OWNER. And if only
GROUP but not
OWNER is set they must be readable and
writable by that group. Please note that if you change the access
permissions of the device files on some systems they may get reset by
the system to what it believes to be more secure, e.g. on a reboot
or as part of some daily system maintenance tasks etc. Moreover, on
most modern Linux systems
udev is used and the device files get
deleted on shutdown and re-created on boot - but this can be handled
by setting up
udev to create the device files with the
necessary permissions and ownerships, typically by creating a 'rules'
file in `/etc/udev/rules.d/''.
One possible scenario is to create an account for
extremely low permissions (even logging in can be disabled) - or use
an already existing low permission account like
nobody - and
USER to that account, but set
GROUP to a group that
has read and write access permissions for the device files that are
going to be required. This could be the
dialout) group that typically has the necessary permissions for
the accessing the device files for the serial ports. Of course, you
need to allow read and write access for all other device files (e.g.
GPIB card, PCI data acquisition cards etc.) for this group or make the
fsc2 is running under member of the groups that have
read and write access permissions to these device files.
This document was generated by Jens Thoms Toerring on September 6, 2017 using texi2html 1.82.