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Is there some sort of plugin for cpanel or at least something I can use on the admin section of my site that will test if an admin logging in is drunk and block them if they appear to be?


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This may well be the funniest thing I've read this morning. I've got this vision of a drunk sysadmin trashing the servers and ending up passed out sprawled out on the floor with his head cushioned by a pile of fibre-optic patch cords laying in the bottom of a rack cabinet. Someone once told me that one of the datacenter support people at their "old job" kept 6-packs of beer under the raised floor tiles to keep it cold... heh heh... –  Evan Anderson Jul 22 '09 at 16:13
Obviously you need to install the RSA Breathalizer Keyfob system –  Kevin Kuphal Jul 22 '09 at 16:14
Funny enough, I've needed something like this in the past. I hope there is a great solution.. –  Dayton Brown Jul 22 '09 at 16:32
I dunno, don't you have to be drunk to type things like - ls c:\foo | grep "bar" :P –  Jim B Jul 22 '09 at 16:44
Call me crazy but you may have more of a management problem if you need your systems to verify whether or not your operators are intoxicated. ;) –  Brandon Jul 22 '09 at 17:29

9 Answers 9

up vote 18 down vote accepted

On a serious note though:

If you have precedent of admins login in to your CPanel (or other server management consoles) intoxicated/drunk, it might be wiser to look at this problem as a personnel/management issue instead of looking for a solution to a problem as trying to put a bandaid on a gaping wound. (As of right now, there is no practical way of doing this since most entities looking at this kind of solution would also have to think at preventing access to people under the influence of Marijuana, Cocaine, Speed, Mushrooms, etc..)

You should note that you can control 'who you hire/has admin rights', but not who's going to act irresponsibly, maliciously, and unethically on your servers. Remember, by hiring and giving those rights, you're making the decision of who's going to have your trust based on your personal assessment.

You know what, your right, I have put up with this far too long. –  James Simpson Jul 22 '09 at 18:58

Sure...just hook up a USB breathalyzer :-).


How about only allowing very long and complex passwords that they can't change, something like: "l0c0b0x l1k3s 2 dr1nk c0ff33 3v3r1 d41" and deny access for 2 hours after three wrong entries.

Other than that, maybe think about writing a flash app like that drunk walk game that only shows you a login prompt once the drunk guy 'reaches home'.

alt text

*I wrote another post with a more serious note

They can just store the password on their computer though. –  James Simpson Jul 22 '09 at 16:49
Sure, but wouldn't be of much help if you apply a date-based algorithm to your passwords (though, that would be a pain to manage) –  l0c0b0x Jul 22 '09 at 17:44
When the guy reaches home? Really? I can't get him past 65 and I'm pure sober. Stupid game. :( –  pauska Jul 22 '09 at 20:56

We've specifically selected login passwords that were complex enough, and stored in a system which displayed them in a font small enough, that intoxicated people could rarely maintain the visual concentration long enough to get the password correctly entered.

...uh ...not that we've had any direct experience with this. Oh, no.

So your passwords were changed daily or something? –  James Simpson Jul 22 '09 at 16:19

Display some lines of a randomly selected text and let the admin retype it from the screen before giving him the login screen. Measure the relative timing of the key strokes and plot them one against the other in an x-y diagram, namely points {..., (t(n+1), t(n)), (t(n), t(n-1)), ...} This gives you the Poincare Map of some underlying high dimensional chaotic attractor to which these values which are related to the motoric behavior of your admin will converge. If the intoxication is reflected in the slightest changes of motoric behavior you will probably see it in this plot. First of course you need to gauge this plot against the normal behavior of your admin by doing some statistics on those distributions. If you see some deviation from the normal don’t let him log in but call him to meet the supervisor first.


OK, I will take a crack at seriously answering this. I would suspect, though I have not done the experiment, that a person's typing finger print may change. There has been much research on the concept that you can finger print a person based on the the the rhythms they have when typing. A quick Google search pulled up PSYLock which sells such a product and there is a Wikipedia page about this concept as well with a list of out products.

I think this would take way too much work than its worth, definitely some interesting stuff there though. –  James Simpson Jul 22 '09 at 18:26

If you're serious abuot blocking drunk admins you'd probably have to use a "Completely Automated Public Admin test for Boozer and Loser Elimination" (CAPABLE). The CAPABLE test consists of a basic quadratic equation. Solve the problem- you're not likely to be drunk or stupid. Fail it- and your account is locked.

Is there a way to add this to cPanel though? –  James Simpson Jul 22 '09 at 17:18

Sounds like you want something like Gmail's Mail Goggles. Joking aside, the cPanel API may give you enough to work with to implement something like this. Or send them a feature request. :)


You need a CAPTHDHA: Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Humans and Drunken Humans Apart.


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