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By default esxi creates a number of users and groups including: daemon nfsnobody root nobody vimuser dcui

How secure is this default security setup? Besides changing the root password, is it advisable to modify the default users and groups? E.g. does esxi use default passwords for the accounts or anything else that could be exploited by malicious users?

My scenario is very basic and I don't require any custom users or groups as only sysadmins will ever need to administer the virtual infrastructure, and they can do so using the root account.


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As well as what quadruplebucky says you should also set a strong root password and use 'lockdown' mode wherever possible.

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It is definitely not advisable to modify the ESXi security roles if you're not certain what you're doing. It is advisable to limit access to your ESXi management interface as much as possible - ideally on a physically separate network. If you're using vCenter server, use host profiles to manage ESXi hosts.

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Have a look at the Security Configuration Benchmarks from CIS. From their website:

The Security Configuration Benchmarks are distributed free of charge to propagate their worldwide use and adoption as user-originated, de facto standards.

The Benchmarks are recommended technical control rules/values for hardening operating systems, middleware and software applications, and network devices;

There is one benchmark for VMWare ESX Server 3.5. Although it is not for v4 I guess it will be helpful.

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