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Thread: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

  1. #81
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    Quote Originally Posted by toupeiro View Post
    Again, not trying to beat a dead horse here, but are you sure calling "sudo rm -rf" malicious is a good thing to instill in a new user to linux. sudo rm -rf is not malicious, but can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. Telling someone not to ever sudo rm -rf doesn't seem like the right approach... Its probably been too long since I've been a new user of an OS to understand the viewpoint, but knowing how many times I've used that command for very productive reasons makes me think its a bad choice in teaching.

    so, if I were to post a productive script on the forums which made use of rm -rf, would I get banned???


    If I were to tell someone how to correctly use mkfs, and they still blew up one of their drives, would I get banned?? Was I being malicious because I tried to show someone how to use mkfs and they blindly used the command?? There are a lot of users that just cut and paste code under a thread name they are looking for. THAT is the behavior it seems we sould be working to curb.

    Teaching people what these commands mean, and what they can do rather than discouraging their use seems like a much more educational approach.

    I honestly understand your thoughts here, but do you really think that such a command is suitable for MOST truly new users?

    I liken it to the NRA's Eddie Eagle program, where they teach kids to NEVER touch a gun, to stop and go tell an adult. As a person gets older and has the capacity to understand how to handle such a powerful object (or command), or once they're actually taught to be responsible, even at a young age, that advice doesn't necessarily apply to them in the strictest sense. I'm new to Linux, but I would think that if a new user is told not to use the sudo rm command, if someone suggests it, they'll at least pause and not rush off and do it or question it. It's not like they can't change their minds and do it once 4 or 5 more users post replies to their issue/question stating that it's okay in this instance (if it truly is).
    NEVER use a command given to you before asking and knowing exactly what it does. Make sure you know what it is that you're telling your system to do before doing it; some commands can be very harmful to your system or leave you vulnerable to attack.

  2. #82
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    I am in. My sig has new added link to the announcement.

    Beginners have a hard enough time without being tricked into doing hazardous things.

    -Wolf Halton
    Wolf Halton - Senior PCI Compliance/Vulnerability Engineer @ Atlanta Cloud Technology
    Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow!
    'This Apt Has Super Cow Powers! -"Have you mooed today?"'

  3. #83
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    'sudo rm -rf' by itself is not malicious. I have to use it sometimes to clean up directories at work.

    'sudo rm -rf /' is indeed malicious.

  4. #84
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    I'm in. I've put some info in my signature.

    Remember, free is better.
    Last edited by LinuxGuy1234; November 21st, 2007 at 08:29 PM.
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  5. #85
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    i think this is a good idea. consequently, i've stolen NineSeveN's signature and changed it slightly, so credit to him/her.
    WARNING FOR THOSE NEW TO LINUX: NEVER use a command given to you before asking and knowing exactly what it does.

  6. #86
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    If you think about it, to follow these dangerous commands given to them, users must just copy and paste.

    I suppose if it doesn't put them off of Linux, it will teach them a valuable lesson; that is, to not just blindly copy and paste without questioning what you're doing.

    Still, what these people do to trick people is totally callous and harsh. These people do not deserve to be on this forum. They are ruining people that are innocently asking for help. If you ask me, that's a major sign of cowardice, because it shows that these people are only capable of doing these kind of things to people more vulnerable (i.e. new users)

  7. #87
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    I don't post on here much, but warnings are always worth repeating and I've changed my sig accordingly.
    Be very wary of any command with sudo in it. Read this for more information and check this to make sure you do know what you're doing.

    Random acts of bloggery | Twitter | Identi.ca

  8. #88
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    Quote Originally Posted by NineseveN View Post
    I honestly understand your thoughts here, but do you really think that such a command is suitable for MOST truly new users?

    I liken it to the NRA's Eddie Eagle program, where they teach kids to NEVER touch a gun, to stop and go tell an adult. As a person gets older and has the capacity to understand how to handle such a powerful object (or command), or once they're actually taught to be responsible, even at a young age, that advice doesn't necessarily apply to them in the strictest sense. I'm new to Linux, but I would think that if a new user is told not to use the sudo rm command, if someone suggests it, they'll at least pause and not rush off and do it or question it. It's not like they can't change their minds and do it once 4 or 5 more users post replies to their issue/question stating that it's okay in this instance (if it truly is).
    I understand your comparison, and I'm not to downplay what you've said, you made an excellent point, but if anything I'm trying to emphasize the responsibility part of what you said. If you tell someone never to run sudo rm -rf, they are still going to blindly cut and paste anything else not related to rm -rf. You haven't taught them anything. If I can borrow your same analogy, thats like saying, NEVER touch a gun, but here's a bunch of shiny knives to play with.

    As far as mkfs or rm -rf being suitable. Most people running ubuntu have already used mkfs and don't even realize they have. of course, it was done in a scripted manner. My point though, is that they are vital system commands, and I think that they become suitable the minute someone asks about them. Its not up to me to decide whats suitable for a new user to do with their system, maybe they bought a new hard drive, maybe they are cleaning off an old one that used to have XP on it.. However, as an experienced user, it is up to me to help a new user understand what they are asking for.
    Last edited by toupeiro; November 21st, 2007 at 08:37 PM.
    "Its easy to come up with new ideas, the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." -Roger von Oech

  9. #89
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    I'm in
    Don't peach linux. Melon it!

  10. #90
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    Re: Join the fight against malicious commands given to new users

    Quote Originally Posted by toupeiro View Post
    I understand your comparison, and I'm not to downplay what you've said, you made an excellent point, but if anything I'm trying to emphasize the responsibility part of what you said. If you tell someone never to run sudo rm -rf, they are still going to blindly cut and paste anything else not related to rm -rf. You haven't taught them anything. If I can borrow your same analogy, thats like saying, NEVER touch a gun, but here's a bunch of shiny knives to play with.

    As far as mkfs or rm -rf being suitable. Most people running ubuntu have already used mkfs and don't even realize they have. of course, it was done in a scripted manner. My point though, is that they are vital system commands, and I think that they becomes suitable the minute someone asks about them. Its not up to me to decide whats suitable for a new user to do with their system, maybe they bought a new hard drive, maybe they are cleaning off an old one that used to have XP on it.. However, as an experienced user, it is up to me to help a new user understand what they are asking for.
    I lol'd at the knives thing (got a funny visual from that one), but I understand your point, and it makes sense. I guess if we can at least agree that some form of warning about new users and code is a good idea, we're all running from the same playbook, even if we're on slightly different pages.

    I'm one of those new users we're talking about, having only installed Ubuntu 7.10 last Friday...I would have had no clue what the code being posted did, but I always look for other responses to any code or fix posted to see what kind of success others have had. Failing that, I search Google for the code to see if I can find what it does. BUT, I can see a new user getting so frustrated with some of the issues they face that they skip the verification step and just paste the code into the terminal, thereby hosing their system and possibly giving up on *nix totally out of anger/frustration. While I agree that they should be smart about things and use the “verify, then trust” motto, sometimes people don’t do that and I’d hate to see someone have their stuff ruined and abandon the whole idea.
    NEVER use a command given to you before asking and knowing exactly what it does. Make sure you know what it is that you're telling your system to do before doing it; some commands can be very harmful to your system or leave you vulnerable to attack.

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