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I have a script that needs to run as root. It also has a configuration file which is read using source:


I would like to check that normal user can't edit and therefore get root access.

I can check who's the file owner and what permissions group and others have:

if [[ "$(stat -c "%a" | egrep ".2.|.3.|.6.|.7.|..2|..3|..6|..7")" != "" ]] || [[ "$(stat -c "%u"" != "0" ]]; then
    #don't execute the file"

Am I missing anything here? Are there any best practices?

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You also need to check all the path components for write access only to root. –  Stéphane Chazelas Apr 23 '14 at 13:43
@StephaneChazelas That's no enough. This approach is fundamentally flawed. There's a non-negligible chance that someone could find another file on the system that belongs to root (like anything in /usr/bin or /usr/sbin) and causes all kinds of havoc when invoked in the wrong context. –  Gilles Apr 23 '14 at 21:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'd do it with arithmetic evaluation:

if [[ $(stat -c '%u' -ne 0 -o \
      $(( $(stat -c '%a' & 0044)) -ne 0 ]]; then
    # file's owner is not root or file is writable by group or world
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There's also filesystem ACLs to consider. –  Patrick Apr 24 '14 at 1:41

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