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Privilege separation is the design pattern of breaking a system into components such that each component can be granted a smaller set of permissions than a combined system would need. Thus restricting the capabilities of an attacker who compromises that component.

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Why are Protection Rings called rings?

Protection rings are different privilege levels granted to software, with the kernel being the most privileged, applications the least privileged, and drivers somewhere in between. My question is why ...
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2answers
70 views

Best practice on Windows domains: To have a separate admin account or not?

On Linux, we enforce least privilege through sudo. This gives the best of both worlds: Passwords and accounts are for a person, as they should be, not a role. But we lower risk and exposure by only ...
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Is it possible to separate DRA decryption abilities?

In the name of separation of duties, I was wondering if there is a simple (or even not-so-simple) way of dividing the ability to decrypt an EFS encrypted file such that it would require two DRAs to ...
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3answers
183 views

Difference between root login and passwordless sudo

Cloud images of some popular operating systems do not let the user to log in as root, yet they use a very standard user name (for example ec2-user, ubuntu) and allow these users to use passwordless ...
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1answer
384 views

Drop privileges after startup or start as unprivileged user?

Given a service that needs access to some secrets from a config file to start, I can imagine three approaches: 1) Keep the file readable only by root. Start the process as root, read the config and ...
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1answer
55 views

How does separating concerns into separate processes (without enforcement) help security?

In this talk on privilege separation, Theo de Raadt explains that OpenBSD's ntpd has a master process which calls settimeofday(), a DNS process responsible for querying DNS servers, and an NTP ...
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1answer
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How can you securely use a cloud-based CI/CD server?

I'm looking at using a cloud-based continuous deployment server to push production code for my application. Because it's a cloud based server, this requires me to give them a private SSH key that has ...
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2answers
125 views

Isn't separating privileges less useful on a PC, as all my critical data is in my normal user account?

Separating privileges, i.e using a non-admin account and escalating only when needed, seems to be something everyone agrees on. I can roughly understand why it's important on every system : prevent an ...
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648 views

Separation of Duties using RBAC

I'm reading an article about Role based Access Control, in section 6 (Separation of Duties) I didn't understand this part : Separation of duty can be either static or dynamic. Compliance with ...
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4answers
877 views

Node.js REST server running as root

I am building a REST API server using Node.js and Express, that will allow you to turn any Linux server into a NAS. I have several fileExec which basically spawns a shell and executes a BASH command (...