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RE: Restricted Bash - Not so restrictive (in 4.2 as well)

From: Sarnath K - ERS, HCLTech
Subject: RE: Restricted Bash - Not so restrictive (in 4.2 as well)
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 16:54:42 +0530

Hello Jonathan,

Thanks for the quick hint.

What I understand is that you are suggesting me to collate all required 
commands in a special directory and then use it in the PATH and remove 
everything else from the PATH in ".bashrc".

I think that would really serve my purpose. Thanks!

As far as changes to BASH documentation goes, I think the existing 
documentation is just fine. It clearly says that "A restricted shell is used to 
setup an environment more controlled than the shell". I think it is up to the 
administrator to use it innovatively.

Apart from this, BASH Documentation says "When a command that is found to be a 
shell script is executed (see COMMAND EXECUTION above), rbash turns off  any  
restrictions in the shell spawned to execute the script.".
Does this mean that a guy with restricted shell can just write a shell script 
to do a privileged operation and get away with it?

Thanks for your time and such a quick response,

Best Regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Nieder [mailto:address@hidden
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 4:43 PM
To: Sarnath K - ERS, HCLTech
Cc: address@hidden; address@hidden
Subject: Re: Restricted Bash - Not so restrictive (in 4.2 as well)


Sarnath K - ERS, HCLTech wrote:

> I see this problem in the latest Bash 4.2 as well. Say, I invoke
> "rbash" or "bash -r". This leaves me in a restrictive shell.
> However, this restrictive shell allows me to run "bash" or any other
> shell (without execing - just simply run) which leaves me in a
> normal shell.

Typically rbash is used with a nonstandard PATH setting to give users
access to a restricted set of commands.

However, I notice that the bash(1) manpage does not mention anything
about that.  If you can come up with a way to hint at it without
making the manpage much longer (maybe by tweaking the sentence that
starts "A restricted shell is used to set up an environment"), I
imagine that would be helpful.

Thanks and hope that helps,


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