[CentOS-devel] Cloud image default login

Tue Jul 15 01:44:04 UTC 2014
Nico Kadel-Garcia <nkadel at gmail.com>

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM, Jimmy Kaplowitz <jkaplowitz at google.com> wrote:
> As further data points, Debian on AWS EC2 uses the 'admin' username, and all
> Google-supported images on Google Compute Engine (including CentOS) don't
> have a default account at all, but rather use integrated SSH key management
> via our metadata server and an open source daemon we install into the guest.

But you're not changing root's uid, gid, shell, home directory, or
group memberships, right?  It's all fun and games until someone
touches old tools that have worked consistently for more than a decade
with an unexpected discrepancy between UNIX historical settings, and
someone's untested "security enhancement". It's the sort of thing that
makes people hate security changes.

Blocking direct login access by locking the password and/or blocking
SSH root access are all understandable, but should *not* be changed
from upstream's defaults without considerable thought. They *will*
break procedures that are applied to both systems, especially those
that rely on remote SSH key or direct root privileges such as the
"knife ssh" command from chef and other SSH based multiple-target

Having to pipe the commands through some kind of sudo adds complexity.
Don't get me wrong, I agree that in most cases it can and should be
turned off for security reasons. But changing the defaults is going to
burn sys-admin's very valuable time. Is it worth the security
enhancement to make their lives more difficult?