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Security and Privacy Sadly, malware, spyware, hackers and privacy threats abound in today's world. Let's be paranoid and secure our penguins, and slam the doors on privacy exploits.

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  #1  
Old 20th August 2005, 03:59 PM
Shaky Start Offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 33
Authentication Failed - why?

I've just recently installed FC4 and have been following the tips in the Unofficial Guide and the FAQ to install more packages, using yum. Most of this work has been done from a non-root user account. Suddenly I can no longer login to this account. I receive the message 'Authetication Failed'. Aha! you say - you've entered the account password incorrectly! Well, perhaps (but it's unforgettable to me - and I've even typed it in using one finger only). So, I changed the password to this account, in root. I stilll get the Authentication Failed error message. This non-root user account as full priveleges. Where do I start looking for the mistake I have made?

btw, if this is an inappropriate thread for this forum, please advise me. I'm totally new to Linux (and to fora).
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  #2  
Old 20th August 2005, 09:31 PM
zvik Offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Hi,

Try to su - from root to this account, it may show the relevant error.
For example if the problematic account is shaky then as root type:
si - shaky

Regards
Zvik
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  #3  
Old 20th August 2005, 11:07 PM
Shaky Start Offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 33
Thanks for suggestion. I assume from the su --help information screen that the command syntax is:
su<blank>-<blank>[username].

When I enter this I get the response 'incorrect password' - even though I have not been asked for, nor entered, a password. This makes no sense to me.

I think I can set the [username] password to anything I like through the User Manager, available via Desktop-->Systems Settings-->Users and Groups. If I do this - taking extreme care in entering the password, then using the su - command still reults in 'incorrect password' and 'Authentication Failed' when I try to login on the username account using the most rceently set password.

I don't know what to conclude from this, except that I don't know what I'm doing!
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  #4  
Old 21st August 2005, 12:36 AM
dwflo Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Age: 65
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaky Start
Thanks for suggestion. I assume from the su --help information screen that the command syntax is:
su<blank>-<blank>[username].

When I enter this I get the response 'incorrect password' - even though I have not been asked for, nor entered, a password. This makes no sense to me.

I think I can set the [username] password to anything I like through the User Manager, available via Desktop-->Systems Settings-->Users and Groups. If I do this - taking extreme care in entering the password, then using the su - command still reults in 'incorrect password' and 'Authentication Failed' when I try to login on the username account using the most rceently set password.

I don't know what to conclude from this, except that I don't know what I'm doing!
When you installed Fedora, it asked you to enter a password for root. After rebooting the first time it asked to setup a user account. These are two seperate accounts.
The root account is used only when doing admin work. When you attempt to run any application or perform certain tasks it will prompt you for the root password.
The reason for this, is done for security purposes, that is how Linux is designed. So, if you are doing tasks in the terminal or command line, you will be denied from doing some unless you log in as root. No username, just su - (enter). Follow this exactly as shown.
That is done with the command:
Code:
su -
password: (root password)
__________________
Registered Linux #395226 running Fedora 7 x86_64
"Three men were walking on a wall, Feeling, Faith and Fact.
Feeling took an awful fall and Faith was taken back.
But Fact remained both strong and true and that brought back Faith and Feeling too!"
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  #5  
Old 21st August 2005, 10:09 AM
Shaky Start Offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 33
Firstly, I have now found out what I did wrong. Secondly thanks for the help.

I understand about the need to have a root account/password and an additional, non-priveleged, account/password. I had got both of these successfully working. I noticed that for a number of things I tried to do from the unprivileged account, I was asked to give the root password (to acquire privileges temporarily, I assume). I

was comfortable with this. Too comfortable I guess, and got too full of myself. I went ahead and explored various menus, finding one called 'authentication'. I come from the school of "if a little is good, a lot must be better, and too much is never enough". So I checked the boxes for various authentication protocols like LDAP and some others (which I cannot now recall). I now realise that this is what caused all my attempts to login with the non-privileged user to fail. I since went back as root and unchecked all ths authentication options. I now have a working, but vulnerable system. I need to learn about security I guess. Where do I start reading?
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  #6  
Old 21st August 2005, 12:30 PM
dwflo Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albuquerque
Age: 65
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaky Start
Firstly, I have now found out what I did wrong. Secondly thanks for the help.

I understand about the need to have a root account/password and an additional, non-priveleged, account/password. I had got both of these successfully working. I noticed that for a number of things I tried to do from the unprivileged account, I was asked to give the root password (to acquire privileges temporarily, I assume). I

was comfortable with this. Too comfortable I guess, and got too full of myself. I went ahead and explored various menus, finding one called 'authentication'. I come from the school of "if a little is good, a lot must be better, and too much is never enough". So I checked the boxes for various authentication protocols like LDAP and some others (which I cannot now recall). I now realise that this is what caused all my attempts to login with the non-privileged user to fail. I since went back as root and unchecked all ths authentication options. I now have a working, but vulnerable system. I need to learn about security I guess. Where do I start reading?
There is some security information in the How To section of this forum. Also check out the Fedora FAQ. I found many links to some security sites. I was able to download many articles in pdf, haven't had time to read them. I was looking for info on iptables, and found what I needed.

Check out these websites, there is plenty of information.
http://www.linuxforums.org/
http://www.linuxquestions.org/
http://www.madpenguin.org/
http://www.desktoplinux.com/
http://www.thefreecountry.com/index.shtml

The Free Country has many articles you can download or print.
Hope this will help you.

Dave
__________________
Registered Linux #395226 running Fedora 7 x86_64
"Three men were walking on a wall, Feeling, Faith and Fact.
Feeling took an awful fall and Faith was taken back.
But Fact remained both strong and true and that brought back Faith and Feeling too!"
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