Bug#564079: Is this really a screensaver issue?

Josselin Mouette joss at debian.org
Tue Jan 26 16:31:23 UTC 2010

Le mardi 26 janvier 2010 à 16:19 +0100, Guido Günther a écrit :
> > True, but this one is trivial to exploit and is also fairly easy to prevent so 
> > why stick with it?
> I can only agree here. procps should at least get a:
> sys.kernel.sysrq = 0 

It’s only a workaround, and it’s a bit too much to disable all SysRq
since other SysRq combinations are not a security threat. However we
could ship this in the gnome-screensaver/xscreensaver packages if there
is no other solution. This would make the obvious and immediate security
issue go away. Simultaneously, we can forward the issue upstream so that
they can work on an appropriate X11 extension as suggested by Bastian.

> Safest would be to make the kernel default to off though (the user can
> still reenable this via procps) since there's otherwise still a race
> until /etc/init.d/procps starts.

I don’t think this race condition is relevant. The only thing that can
protect you from someone who has access to the console at boot time is
to encrypt your data. The screensaver’s lock is here to prevent the data
from being accessed without a reboot.

 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'   “A handshake with whitnesses is the same
  `-     as a signed contact.”  -- Jörg Schilling

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