I'm struggling to think what security risks there could be to knowing who is allowed to use sudo.

  • I guess in my mind it would be the equivalent of knowing who to target. It would open up privileged accounts to unnecessary attacks (potentially). Aside from that over simplified opinion, you have a good question and I'd be curious to see what the experts have to say. – bgregs Jan 14 '19 at 14:29

Being able to target a user with sudo priveleges makes compromise easier. Same reason /etc/shadow is ro root. Security through obscurity thwarts more attacks than its' given credit for.

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    I wholly disagree in the likeliness between sudoers and /etc/shadow. Shadow contains passwords (albeit hashed passwords). The contents must be kept secret. Sudoers is frequently never modified from the distribution and therefore rarely a secret. – Philip Couling Jan 14 '19 at 16:24
  • needless leak of information; if any account or process is compromised the attacker may then read the sudoers configuration and use that information to figure out next targets (accounts, allowed programs, ...)
  • needlessly world-readable files may create conditions for denial of service attacks e.g. Sendmail files and locking mechanisms https://securitytracker.com/id/1004368 (world-readable files can also be opened by many processes; this may slow down I/O performance on the file which is probably not relevant for sudo though may be bad for a database or logging daemon)
  • unknown vulnerabilities that let the attacker do something really clever via some almost forgotten ioctl or buggy audio interface that the needlessly world-readable file gives them enough of a toe-hold to climb
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