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I just brought up an Ubunt 12.04 instance on rackspace and I have some users that I am wondering about:

I see a couple of users on ubuntu 12.04 server which I don't seem like they need shell access: games, man, lp, news, irc.

Is shell access necessary for these users/services? Can I disable them. I'm just paranoid because one of my servers was hacked and I just want to make sure everything is clean this time around.

Thank You,

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Do they have a valid shell ? If they have a bogus shell like /bin/false, they don't have "shell access" in a meaningful sense. –  b0fh Aug 29 '12 at 19:36
    
@b0fh they have /bin/sh/ does that fall in the bogus category? –  dm03514 Aug 29 '12 at 23:56
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Those are standard non-privileged users/groups created by packages so their programs can run without root privileges.

If this is the only reason you suspect that your system has a security problem, then it is likely that you don't.

Additionally, it is generally a Bad Idea (TM) to just start disabling things unless you really know what you are doing. The defaults are default for a reason.

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