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Re: [PATCH] default to --no-auth-cache

From: Benjamin Pflugmann <benjamin-svn-dev_at_pflugmann.de>
Date: 2003-01-14 01:28:54 CET

On Mon 2003-01-13 at 14:02:10 -0600, Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:
> <rbb@rkbloom.net> writes:
>
> > I just discovered that the svn client is caching passwords by default.
> > This seems like a huge security hole, especially since it isn't obvious
> > that it is being done [...]
>
> I'm not following your logic. It's a security hole because users
> don't know it's happening by default?

Yes. It's called "unsafe defaults" and is the what the most active
worms targetting Microsoft Windows exploit mainly - several years
after the deficiency is well-known, fixes are long available and
everybody should know.

(I am well aware that the setting we are talking about does not have
the same reach.)

> (What would happen if every user read about it in documentation first?
> Would it still be a security hole?)

Yes. Because humans are lazy. If a setting has security implications,
good software should encourage the user to make an active, reasonably
informed decision for case she wants to use the less safe setting.
IMHO, it cannot and should not enforce that, but it should help to do
the Right Thing.

No, it wouldn't be a security hole anymore if you could be sure that
every user reads the documentation and changes the settings to the
safer one if she is unsure what to use or does not care. Notice the
paradox with the latter part?

Regards,

        Benjamin.

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Received on Tue Jan 14 01:29:41 2003

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