Information technology is a highly competitive field where only the best mental mechanics can make the cut. Information technology school has helped to prepare many students for a career in this field. IT technicians are often called upon to troubleshoot and repair a number of problem. These problems can include replacing hardware in the computer, troubleshooting an office computer, fixing software issues, and even solving internet problems.

Here at ITI Technical College, we believe in providing students with a high quality education. Our goal is to help you progress through the industry for a successful career. With that being said, you need to know about the dangers of a root access in UNIX Systems. Today we’re going to breaking down this potential danger so you can prepare to meet the challenges it presents should you encounter it over the course of your career.

The Root Itself

Root access is having default access to all of the files and commands on UNIX operating system. This account can be referred to as superuser, root account, or root user. People who have attended information technology school may already recognize the problem, but we’ll expand more on that in a second.

Root access allows a user to access the top level directory on an operating system. This directory lets the user access the directory in all directions. This includes files, subdirectors, and in some cases other directories too. This root access can also mean the user has access to the home director on the operating system too. People in this system can access the users’ files, configuration files, and even the directory to where the user logs into the system itself.

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How is this Root Access Dangerous on a Unix Operating System?

You’ll no doubt learn all about root access in information technology school, but we’ll go further into why root access is a problem on a Unix operating system. The original version of the Unix operating systems is based on a multi-user system. This was because personal computers did not exist at the time the operating system was made, so each user had to log into the mainframe of the computer through the terminal.

This meant it was necessary to have a mechanism in place to protect and separate the files of the individual users while also allowing access to the system at the same time. This was necessary to enable a system administrator to perform tasks like entering user directors and files in order to correct problems. They’re also able to revoke and grant certain powers to other ordinary users. They can allow users to access critical file systems so they can upgrade or repair the system

The problem with root access is that it allows once person to have entire access to the operating system. This means a user can have access to sensitive information on clients, other users, companies, and other information that may be valuable. The Unix operating system is designed to be tree like in its structure. The main directory branches off into sub directories this root user can access and eventually the individual files of other users.

Root access can also allow this ‘superuser’ to access the critical files of the system. When they have access to these critical files, they can begin to mess with the Unix operating system form the inside. The best way to prevent this from happening is only granting certain powers to users who have to access the system. There is a way to block out users from logging into the mainframe and prevent them from accessing these critical files.

Knowing how to properly operate a Unix operating system is vital for a career in this field. You’ll no doubt end up encountering it over the course of your career and have to work with other operating systems in this field.

 

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