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Suse has a turbulent history with many vulnerabilities fixed at different periods of time.  There is no easy way to prevent a user from gaining a root shell if  that user is allowed to run arbitrary commands via sudo. Also, many
programs (such as editors) allow the user to run commands via shell  escapes, thus avoiding sudo's checks.  However, on most systems it is   possible to prevent shell escapes with sudo's noexec functionality.

A Brief history of sudo(8):

Sudo was first conceived and implemented by Bob Coggeshall and Cliff Spencer around 1980 at the Department of Computer Science at SUNY/Buffalo. It ran on a VAX-11/750 running 4.1BSD. An updated version, credited to Phil Betchel, Cliff Spencer, Gretchen Phillips, John LoVerso and Don Gworek, was posted to the net.sources newsgroup in December of 1985.

In the Summer of 1986, Garth Snyder released and enhanced version of sudo. For the next 5 years, sudo was fed and watered by a handful of folks at CU-Boulder, including Bob Coggeshall, Bob Manchek, and Trent Hein.

In 1991, Dave Hieb and Jeff Nieusma wrote a new version of sudo with an enhanced sudoers format under contract to a consulting firm called "The Root Group". This version was later released under the GNU public license.

In 1994, after maintaining sudo informally within CU-Boulder for some time, Todd Miller made a public release of "CU sudo" (version 1.3) with bug fixes and support for more operating systems. The "CU" was added to differentiate it from the "official" version from "The Root Group".

In 1996, Todd, who had been maintaining sudo for several years in his spare time, brought sudo development under the umbrella of his consulting firm, Courtesan Consulting. Courtesan remains committed to a free sudo and is sponsoring another sudo rewrite as well as continued development of the sudo 1.x code base.

In 1999, the "CU" prefix was dropped from the name since there has been no formal release of sudo from "The Root Group" since 1991 (the original authors now work elsewhere). As of version 1.6, Sudo no longer contains any of the original "Root Group" code and is available with a BSD-style license.

In 2004, Todd incorporated as GratiSoft, Inc. to provide commercial support and enhancements to the sudo community. Please visit http://www.sudo.ws/sudo/support.html for information on commerical support.

sudo, in its current form, is maintained by: Todd Miller <Todd.Miller@courtesan.com>

Todd continues to enhance sudo and fix bugs.


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[Sep 10, 2010] Sudo Main Page

The current stable version is sudo 1.7.4p4, released on September 7, 2010.

[Apr 20, 2009] sudo 1.7.1

Sudo (su "do") allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root while logging all commands and arguments. Sudo operates on a per-command... basis, it is not a replacement for the shell

[Nov 14 2008 ] sudo 1.6.9p18 by Todd Miller

About: Sudo (su "do") allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root while logging all commands and arguments. Sudo operates on a per-command basis, it is not a replacement for the shell.

Changes: A crash which occurred when the -i flag was used with a uid not in the password database has been fixed. Sudo now operates in the C locale again when doing a match against sudoers. A potential crash when a glob matches a large number of files has been fixed. A compilation problem with certain versions of Heimdal KerberosV has been fixed. When setting the umask, sudo will now use the union of the user's umask and the value set in sudoers. Sudo now stats fewer files when doing a wildcard match.

[Oct 27, 2007] Sudo Main Page

The current stable version is sudo 1.6.9p7, released on October 25, 2007.

[Mar 14, 2001] There is a security flaw in older versions that was recently fixed. CERT is recommending to upgrade to 1.6.3p7. See Sudo News

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