How To Write a Setuid Program


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Abstract

UNIX systems allow certain programs to grant privileges to users temporarily; these are called setuid programs. Because they explicitly violate the protection scheme designed into UNIX, they are among the most difficult programs to write. This paper discusses how to write these programs to make using them to compromise a UNIX system as difficult as possible.

Notice

This paper was first published in ;login: 12(1), Jan./Feb. 1987, by the USENIX Association. This is the manuscript version.