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1 CGIWrap - Comments from Administrators
6 I just thought I would drop you a note, saying that I absolutely
7 adore cgiwrap.
9 Prior to now, I had been using Apache suexec. To be blunt, suexec
10 is a disgusting piece of crap.
14 I literally had to re-code parts of suexec to get it to work
15 under my server configuration.
17 ...until I encountered cgiwrap.
19 Your product works flawlessly, and fits my every need. It's
20 extraordinarily fast, and it's simplicity makes it an awesome
21 pre-requisite for any webmaster who wishes to run scripts in
22 a secure environment.
24 The best part about cgiwrap is it's (simplistic, yet useful)
25 ability to redirect stderr to stdout. With so many CGI scripts
26 available, and so many written in different environments, it's
27 about time something came along which could make the debugging
28 process as simple as cake.
30 Thank you for cgiwrap.
33 | Jeremy Chadwick System Administrator |
34 | email@example.com ICQ #6279222 |
35 | "Where is fancy bread? In the heart, or in the head?" - WW |
38 It is inherently impossible to provide _total_ protection, but there
39 is a nifty little utility called cgiwrap that can help. Check out
40 the URL:
44 This method has several advantages:
46 1. It runs the cgi script as your userid, not as some server-defined
47 userid. Assuming you are an ordinary user, this reduces the risk
48 of damaging the system, while increasing the risk of mucking-up
49 your own files. That tradeoff is precisely what many admins
50 on big sites want; it shifts the risk from a badly-written
51 script onto its author, rather than the sysadmin. Also, the
52 fact that it runs as you means that if you do something dumb
53 or nasty with it, the administrators have a better chance of
54 determining who is responsible.
56 Also, this means that if a cgi script hangs and fails to die, you
57 can kill it yourself; if it runs as some special userid then only
58 the system administrator can kill it should it run amuck.
60 2. It does some security checking for common holes. For instance,
61 it checks that the owner of the directory where the script is
62 found also owns the script.
64 3. If you call cgiwrap as cgiwrapd then you'll get special debugging
65 output; I've found this extremely helpful in testing.
67 Nothing is bulletproof. The simple act of letting users create static
68 html documents is itself something of a risk. For example, on many
69 UNIX-based WWW servers, any user can type the following:
71 cd ~/public_html
72 ln -s /etc/passwd Read_This_Folks
73 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^or whatever ;-)
75 And you've just let the entire universe see your system's password
76 file! Of course, this is monumentally stupid, and of course many
77 newer systems use shadow passwords, but I'm sure more subtle holes
78 exist even with static html -- to say nothing of cgi scripts.
80 Also, take a look at the URL:
84 for some _very_ useful information about cgi security issues.
87 Matthew.Healy@yale.edu Postdoc (& now, WebMaster)
88 Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine
89 He was covered with clanking chains of code. "I am the
90 Ghost of Hacks Past," he said to Scrooge.