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Re: BUG #5475: Problem during Instalation

From: Dave Page <dpage(at)pgadmin(dot)org>
To: Craig Ringer <craig(at)postnewspapers(dot)com(dot)au>
Cc: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>, Joel Henrique <joel(at)cefet-al(dot)br>, pgsql-bugs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: BUG #5475: Problem during Instalation
Date: 2010-06-09 08:29:09
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-bugs
On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM, Craig Ringer
<craig(at)postnewspapers(dot)com(dot)au> wrote:

> Only because the PostgreSQL system user account password is coupled to
> the account of the "postgres" user in the PostgreSQL database cluster
> (right?). I'm not at a Windows box right now so I can't test to see if
> altering the Pg role's password changes the system password or vice
> versa, but I'd be surprised if they did.

It won't, but the point is that we have to ask for a password anyway
so we don't gain anything by not asking the user for one of them.

> Personally I'm firmly of the opinion that the user should never need to
> know anything about the password (if any) for the "postgres" Windows
> user account that's used for the service account.

So how would you install something like pgAgent, which you would most
likely want to run under the same account?

> As for bugtraq: If the password is in a registry key readable only by
> the administrator user, then anyone who can read the password can also
> change the password for the account, read other critical passwords from
> the system, etc.

You can have multiple administrators on a machine, and storage of a
plain text password in the registry would allow knowledge of that
password to leak from one administrator to another, which may cause
security concerns in a tightly controlled environment. As far as I'm
aware, Windows doesn't provide any way for an Administrator to read
any other local/domain passwords in anything other than an
encrypted/hashed form, so this would be a new issue, not normally

> It'd be even better, of course, to find out how others avoid this whole
> issue and do the same. I'm going to do some digging and see if I can
> find that out, so I can give you some useful information instead of
> hand-waving.

Most other services use one of the 'special' accounts like 'Network
Service', however doing that with Postgres doesn't necessarily play
well with features like COPY, which is why we've avoiding doing that
since 8.0.

Dave Page
EnterpriseDB UK:
The Enterprise Postgres Company

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