If you want to run a process with root privileges that you can invoke as a less unprivileged user, you can make the program setuid root. This can be very useful, for example, when you want a PHP or CGI script to call a backup process, or to create a new site or irrevocably delete you whole system. The latter example points to a serious security problem: if anyone can figure out a way to make your program do something you don't want, you're screwed, because you just gave them root privileges to wreak maximum havoc. That's why, normally, scripts (anything executed by an interpreter by the kernel because of a shebang) won't get elevated privileges when you set their setuid bit.
By Rowan Rodrik, 6 years ago, on February 03, 2011, at 00:02 |