Bug 7875 - no root passwd prompt when booting single user mode: linux single
no root passwd prompt when booting single user mode: linux single
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: aboot (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Cristian Gafton
: Security
Depends On:
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Reported: 1999-12-18 00:25 EST by williamsmw
Modified: 2008-05-01 11:37 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Last Closed: 1999-12-20 12:25:30 EST
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description williamsmw 1999-12-18 00:25:00 EST
I had to boot single user mode today and realized I am not prompted for a
password.  This is a really bad security risk.

Makes the system extremely vulnerable.

To duplicate:  at the lilo prompt type:  linux single

I tested this on RedHat 6.1 and Mandrake 6.1 which both allowed access to
entire system as root without a password.

Tested this on Caldera 2.3 and Corel 1.0, of which these systems gave the
expected prompt:

Give root password for maintenance
(or type Control-D for normal startup):

I need this fixed ASAP to certify my systems.....


Mark Williams
Comment 1 Chris Siebenmann 1999-12-18 22:24:59 EST
A system that allows arbitrary LILO arguments cannot be secured
by giving single-user mode a password; one can just boot with
'linux init=/bin/sh' and bypass all of those checks. The real
solution is to set /etc/lilo.conf up to not allow extra arguments
without a password. (And to force the BIOS to boot only from the
HD, and to password-protect the BIOS.)
Comment 2 Bill Nottingham 1999-12-20 12:25:59 EST
What he said. ;)

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