Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1998)

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Subject: Re: Sendmail and IDENT protocol delays...
From: Sheryl Coppenger <sheryl @ seas . gwu . edu>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 14:56:31 -0400 (EDT)
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <v04011727b1beab3d2046 @ plaidworks . com> from "Chuq Von Rospach" at Jun 30, 98 07:52:01 am

> the general response I've gotten, frankly, is that IDENT is pretty
> useless and unreliable, but I ought to run it anyway, just in case
> someone finds it useful. That seems silly logic to me. I've never run
> an IDENT server on a machine, and this is the first time it's come up
> in any discussion, so it sure doesn't seem important. And I've talked
> to a number of TCP hacks about it since this came up, and most feel
> it's of limited usefulness and easy to spoof, and they think it's a
> mis-feature that it's on by default in sendmail.

I run ident and encourage people to do so.  I've found it helpful in
tracking down user badness on mult-user UNIX machines.  It's not at
all useful, of course, if the person doing the badness has root access,
is on a PC, etc.

Is ident going to catch the UberCracker?  No.  Is it reliable enough
evidence to shoot someone on the spot?  No.  Will it catch the slow
ones?  Yes, and in a university environment and many others catching
the slow ones can make it worth the price of install.


Sheryl Coppenger    SEAS Computing Facility Staff      sheryl @
 seas .
 gwu .
                    The George Washington University   (202) 994-6853

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