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Lately I have seen some Android Apps, (CPU Monitoring and things like that) that need access to your root account, ask you for username and pass, my questions are:

  1. Is it safe to give access to an External App to your root account?
  2. Is it safe to give access to a non root account, is this the right thing to do?
  3. If you use an external app to your server, are you opening new wounds for your server?
  4. I want to monitor my server, from my mobile phone, when I'm not near to my PC, I need to have access to important server modifications, when I need them (reboot, CPU monitor, create an account, etc.). I don't want to login as a root user, i would like to do it as safe is possible, which is the best method you think I can do this, remotely?
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    Do you 100% trust this random app with your root credentials? If yes, give them up, if not, don't.
    – d1str0
    Mar 17, 2016 at 8:31
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    never give root access to anyone Mar 17, 2016 at 8:49
  • Thanks d1str0 and @mohsin khan, you are answers are really useful for me, yes root access is very dangerous to share with somebodyelse, i suppose then in a situation like that, for now, just some ping to my server would be safe for monitoring, i quess.
    – Stefano
    Mar 17, 2016 at 8:57

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To answer your questions:

  1. No (cf. d1str0s comment)
  2. Probably not. This could still be used to leverage exploits to gain root privileges locally - or otherwise make use of your machine without your knowing with regular user privileges (like sending spam).
  3. Supposed it uses SSH to connect, apart from it sending away your credentials, probably not.
  4. Two options here from the top of my head:
    • Write an app yourself, so you can trust it (or search for open source that a community approves)
    • Use an administrative web backend to your server to which you can login using your browser
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  • for the 4th part, you can write a script that writes the info to some public location on your server and you can access even from the browser. only if that info is harmless else you need to encrypt it so that you feel safe Mar 17, 2016 at 8:51
  • OP does want to have the option to change configuration (he named rebooting as an option), as per question, @mohsinkhan
    – Tobi Nary
    Mar 17, 2016 at 8:52
  • Yes,thanks, i was thinking that my self, i can create a password protected page and make a script and call on that page, thats a reallly good idea for cpu monitoring. Its ok for me now just have access to cpu monitor and infos like that. i will let down the reboot option for now.
    – Stefano
    Mar 17, 2016 at 9:03
  • Depending on your infrastructure and scripting/programming knowledge, you'd may as well reboot your machine from a web backend or make other - arbitrary but predifined - modification actions.
    – Tobi Nary
    Mar 17, 2016 at 9:05

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