MInt and Ubuntu 9.10 has my machine been cracked?

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 22
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TxtEdMacs

May 02, 2011
7:17 AM EST
I noticed this on Ubuntu first and now on Mint 10. Previously if I had a lockup of X, I would hit Ctr + Alt + F1 to get to the text mode to mostly do a smooth shutdown. This requires being su and recently in both the cited distributions it has been impossible to have my valid password accepted in this mode. I had thought, previously I must have been mistyping it. However, I log on every morning without undue difficulty or on every suspend, that happens too regularly. I am now certain I am not putting my password incorrectly, I am being locked out at the most basic level of my OS.

Anyone else seeing similar difficulty or anyone certain I have a cracked machine?

On my other posts, I am having too much difficulty in doing routine updates on Mint. However, I just changed out the cable modem, which will happen again later this week when a newer model I purchased arrives.

Should I prepare myself for a clean install? How do I avoid or detect mischievous code in my backup and Firefox profile?

Sorry to be a pain, but I have been suffering lately.
jdixon

May 02, 2011
9:03 AM EST
I just checked on a recently installed Ubuntu 10.04 here at work, and I can login at the console with no problems. I don't have a Mint install to check.
TxtEdMacs

May 02, 2011
10:15 AM EST
jd,

If you mean run as the administrator, that has been blocked for me on two distributions. Thus, my growing suspicion something is badly wrong. In a regular terminal under X, I have no problems doing administrative tasks, that is if you do not count my recent problems updating Mint 10.

Thanks for checking.

Txt.
JaseP

May 02, 2011
10:58 AM EST
It may be that doing what you want cannot simply be done with the commands you are using. There are some things that root cannot do,... and those things due to system design.
jdixon

May 02, 2011
11:44 AM EST
> If you mean run as the administrator,

Ubuntu (and therefore Mint) don't allow a root login, so there's no way to login to the console with the root account. The best you could do would be login as yourself and run sudo -i. How were you doing it before?
Fettoosh

May 02, 2011
12:17 PM EST
TxtEdMacs,

I have Kubuntu 11.04 & Mint KDE 10 installed on couple test machines. I tried what I believe you are having problems with (Ctr + Alt + F1, login ==> sudo shutdown -r now ==> entered root password) and it worked fine. I hope this helps.

I suggest upgrading to Natty 11.04 clean install (Gnome classic if you don't want or like Unity) or at least to10.10. The base system has improved quite a bit (Better performance, hardware detection, and everything worked without a hitch).



herzeleid

May 02, 2011
12:53 PM EST
I always enable the root login on my ubuntu boxen -

Just "sudo -s", then "su -" to get root shell and environment, then set a password. Bingo, root login now enabled. I lock it down with sshd_config and hosts.deny.

Sorry Mark, I just prefer doing things the old way.
TxtEdMacs

May 02, 2011
2:00 PM EST
Quoting: [...] Ctr + Alt + F1, login ==> sudo shutdown -r now ==> entered root password)


When I began to doubt that now was allowed I entered a "3" (without the quotation marks) for now meaning a three seconds delay.

It's my password that is consistently rejected, after a short pause. This used to work for me, that's why I worry my machine has been cracked. If my machine has been compromised, I fear something in my backup is hiding a root kit, because I did a fresh install of Mint formatting all partitions.

Txt.



skelband

May 02, 2011
3:36 PM EST
@herzeleid:

Or even just "sudo passwd root"

You could probably get away with just "sudo passwd" :D
JaseP

May 02, 2011
4:03 PM EST
Are you positive you are typing it right, aren't using a wireless keyboard low on battery or a wonky keyboard??? Nine times out of 10, I'll find my failed login attempts have to do with a short between the keyboard and the seat... ;)
skelband

May 02, 2011
4:18 PM EST
One thing that I found, which you may be encountering, is a difference between keyboard layouts.

At home, I have used a British keyboard but then went to a US keyboard layout. I did find that because the keyboard mappings weren't the same between that used for the virtual console and my Gnome session, a password including the # character didn't actually come up as the right character.

To see if this is the problem, try typing your password at the login prompt to see if all the characters are as they should be.

I had the same situation where I could log into an X session, but not a virtual console.
TxtEdMacs

May 02, 2011
4:34 PM EST
My mouse is wireless, but the keyboard is built-in to the laptop. The same typing gets me sudo rights and actions in X and in the X terminals, but fails miserably and repeatedly at the text prompt (or console) level. No I am not typing it wrong that many times. That's what I first thought under Ubuntu, because I rarely resorted to closing out via the base terminal. Now under Mint with repeated lockups I have typed it in so often and with care I am certain my valid password is rejected without basis.
skelband

May 02, 2011
4:39 PM EST
Yep, but do test your password visually in a virtual console, not in an Xterm.

Keyboard mapping is done differently there than in the virtual console.
Fettoosh

May 02, 2011
5:15 PM EST
TxtEdMacs,

I don't think you are typing it wrong either. I had a similar problem when using GParted (Partition Editor). It kept giving me invalid password when I lunch it from the the menu. But when I launch it from Console Terminal, it works fine. I can't repeat it now after I upgraded to Kubuntu 11.04

IIRC, I believe it was complaining about some permission or related to some file not found.

herzeleid

May 03, 2011
2:03 AM EST
@skelband -
Quoting: Or even just "sudo passwd root"
That's true, I could have been more economic in expression. I've gotten used to typing sudo followed by su - to get root's environment as well as root powers but it's not needed just for a password change...
number6x

May 03, 2011
6:16 AM EST
Have you tried searching on the ubuntu forums or on launchpd for bugs like this?

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1624602

I can't remeber if ubuntu 9.10 still had etc/initab or not. Newer versions have etc/init.tty#.conf, where # is the virtual terminal number. Those files set up your virtual terminals.
TxtEdMacs

May 03, 2011
9:25 AM EST
All,

Problem Solved.

I credit to #6 the most, not because he had the solution but due to my following the trail he suggested made me alter my view.

I searched to see if there was a virtual terminal setup, I had to use a wild card search, however, even when I attempted to escape the period with an escape symbol it still interpreted the period as a single character replacement. The list was quite extensive with many symbolic links to /lib/init/upstart-job made it possible that a virtual terminal was being setup. However, I examined the shell script and while reading or writing shell scripts are not my forte I was fairly certain this was not what I was seeing.

It happened my machine was partially locked and I could not get to a running terminal or emacs session that I needed to flesh out my response. So I once again went to the text console. There I ran a test of trying to run several innocuous bash commands:

whoami, who, ls, pwd, ps, ...

all immediately asked for the password which was immediately rejected. Then I looked a bit more carefully at the prompt. Though my user name was shown as part of the prompt text, the message at the end was "login: ". Meaning user name, which I typed in at the prompt and on typing in the requested password it worked.

I ran shutdown -h now (I think without the sudo) and it complained I lacked the rights, but shutdown anyway.

Perhaps I just forgot that I had to put in my user name, however, if so I have forgotten that completely. I remember needing only sudo [followed by the desired command] and then entering the password.

Sorry it took this long to stumble across the obvious.

Txt.
number6x

May 03, 2011
10:17 AM EST
It is strange behavior. Ubuntu is usually "sudo <command>"

I'm glad you found a solution.

tracyanne

May 03, 2011
5:03 PM EST
@TxtEdMacs I'm assuming from your description in "All, Problem Solved." that you are using ALT + CTRL + F1... F6 to reach the console. If that is the case than of course you must first log in before you can begin entering commands. Typing anything else other than your user name and password will be rejected. As far as I'm aware that is standard on all Linux based operating system, and certainly, in my experience on Mandriva, Fedora and Ubuntu/Linux Mint.
TxtEdMacs

May 03, 2011
6:11 PM EST
ta,

I tend to use just F1 console, however, I absolutely have no memory of needing to log on previously. Just sudo and the command sufficed albeit I had to type in the prime user's password correctly. Perhaps I have forgotten, but having to do it this time it should have jogged my memory, but it has not.

Seriously,

Txt.
jdixon

May 03, 2011
10:23 PM EST
> I absolutely have no memory of needing to log on previously.

I've always had to log on at the console, even with Ubuntu. I'm not sure I've ever used the console with Mint, but I'd expect it to be the same.
tracyanne

May 03, 2011
10:35 PM EST
Quoting:I'm not sure I've ever used the console with Mint, but I'd expect it to be the same.


It is.
JaseP

May 04, 2011
8:11 AM EST
Mint is nearly identical to Ubuntu, except for pre-installed codecs, the default apps & theming... It's just enough to consider it more than a simple remix under Ubuntu's rebranding policies.

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