ActivCard gets physical (security) with Linux

Friday, 27 June 2003, 12:22 PM EST

There is a tale that gets told around the offices of LinuxPlanet that never fails to bring a chuckle when it's shared. I will share it, but names have been hidden to protect the innocent and the pompous.

A couple of years back, at a technical trade show, there was a Linux PC sitting at a booth that was inaccessible to the booth's tenants. Somehow or other, no one could get into it because no one knew any of the passwords, including root.

A well-known industry pundit happened along and was asked to assist. Whereupon, the industry pundit proclaimed to all within earshot that without the root password, there was simply no way to get into this machine to start using it.

Couldn't. Be. Done.

Said he. While the pundit was loudly complaining about the plight of the PC's users, a certain editor of another industry Web site calmly walked up, typed a few commands, and gained console access to the machine, enough to reset the root password.

The pundit, atypically, was speechless. He then proceeded to inform the editor and all who would listen that there was no way that machine could get back on the network of the trade show floor.

Couldn't. Be--(sound of typing: netcfg)

Five minutes later, the editor--and the pundit--were... done.

[ Read more ]

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