long story short if you can execute code on a box it is usually straightforward to get root
The immediate implication of this quote (if it's accurate) is that if you're running a multi-user system and don't try your darndest to prevent all users from creating files with
x permission set, the system is as good as compromised. The corollary is that operating a multi-user system, such as ones typically found in universities, that by design allow all students to do exercises in C, C++, assembly etc, is pointless, since any student can straightforwardly root this system.
Since running computer systems intended to be used by more people than their owners is not considered pointless, and privilege limiting facilities (users' rights management, sandboxing, etc etc) are not considered useless, I somehow doubt these kinds of comments. But what do I know?
Is it true that most Linux systems are straightforwardly rootable by anyone who can execute code on them?
sudoand link to a blog post that recommends
SSHing to root instead (c) My Uni instructor is adamant that
SSHing to root is a horrible practice and disabled by default for good reasons (d) I can't judge who is right (e) While I thank you for pointing me to (seemingly) well-founded opinions that differ from what I'm being taught (f) I feel between a rock and a hard place because I've made it a personal rule to only accept answers I'm 100% sure are 100% correct.