Ok, here's my problem - Please don't yell at me for being insecure! :) This is on my host machine. I'm the only one using it so it's fairly safe, but I have a very complex password that is hard to type over and over. I use the console for moving files around and executing arbitrary commands a LOT, and I switch terminals, so sudo remembering for the console isn't enough (AND I still have to type in my terrible password at least once!) In the past I have used the NOPASSWD trick in sudoers but I've decided to be more secure. Is there any sort of compromise besides allowing no password access to certain apps? (which can still be insecure) Something that will stop malware and remote logins from sudo rm -rf /-ing me, but in my terminals I can type happily away? Can I have this per terminal, perhaps, so just random commands won't make it through? I've tried running the terminal emulations as sudo, but that puts me as root.
Try adding this to your
Defaults timestamp_timeout=0, tty_tickets
tty_tickets option (on by default) will make
sudo ask password if it was not asked previously in that particular tty (including terminal emulators ptys), and
timestamp_timeout=0 option will make it not ask it again in the whole session.
So, when you want to do some administrative operations, you can open terminal, sudo something, close it, and you will be safe again.
The obvious solution to me is to reduce the complexity of your password. You seem happy to go for no password rather than a long, complex one, so why not look at this middle ground as a valid option?
If your machine is connected to a network then there is a risk of compromise. With no password, you do open yourself up to opportunistic exploitation, so even a simple password offers extra security.
The most secure alternative to using no password is to use an alternative authentication method via PAM. You could, for instance, use a smartcard reader. You'd simply insert the card before using 'sudo', and remove it when done. There is even a PAM module for voice authentication. If you can't find a PAM module that you like and you're not comfortable with C, there are Python bindings.
Check out this list of PAM modules.
rootpw on your
root a simpler password than yours.
Remember to forbid
ssh, in case you have installed an
If your horrible password is to protect your files, then they are really protected only if they are encrypted, otherwise this is just "security theater". Assuming this is why you wanto to keep the big one, you will be safe: breaking
root's password still won't be enough to decrypt your files, and any kind of malware will fry our CPU before guessing the password.
A different approach to
/etc/sudoers and such would be
sudo -i and staying
root. For example, if you use GNU screen, you can have one window as regular user and a second, where you issue
sudo -i and stay root.
~/.screenrc looks like this, issuing
screen automatically opens you two "tabs" accordingly:
hardstatus alwayslastline "%w" screen -t normal screen -t root sudo -i