Static bins

Robert Connolly cendres at
Wed Jan 7 10:52:05 PST 2004

On January 7, 2004 01:26 pm, ken_i_m at wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 07, 2004 at 01:08:09PM -0500, Robert Connolly 
(cendres at wrote:
> > That one setting seems to be the only thing keeping sanity. If there was
> > a bug
> > in that setting, a staticly linked /bin/false would prevent further
> > compromise.
> I don't use suspenders.  Nor a belt.  I have found through experience and
> testing that if I wear a pair of pants that fit me they do not fall down.
> I understand that some folks use both as personal preference.  It does
> not mean that their pants are more secure against falling down then mine.
> In other words, I think you are chasing a ghost.  Either sshd is config'd
> properly or it is not.  The correct solution is to ensure that it is.

Attempting to prevent unknown bugs is why sshd seperates privileges and hides 
in a chroot. Sounds like the sshd developers have concerns about sshd's 
safety. It's not safe just because its configured properly. Any number of 
reasons, including a shared lib attack, could make sshd permit access it 
shouldn't. Staticly linked /bin/false could be the difference between an 
attacker getting a shell, or getting nothing, because of a bug in enviroment 
code; but even still its only a small consideration. But building a few 
programs staticly linked doesn't realy add any overhead, and could add to the 
safety of other applications or daemons. Also, just because these attacks 
haven't been reported in years doesn't mean they can't return tommorrow.

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