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Old 07-14-2005, 09:30 AM   #1
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access using port 443

Is the use of port 443 only accessible to root? Specifically, I have monitoring software with a web interface that I want to use https (port 443), however when I run the software, I get an error stating that the port is already in use...

I know that it is not in use (or at least it does not show up in netstat -a), and my thought is that the error is erroneously reporting it is in use when really it might just not have access to it.

Also, it runs ok when I start it as root, but I do not want to run it as root.

any way to get around this?
Old 07-14-2005, 11:13 AM   #2
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Back in time, some crazy nerds thought it would be a good "security" feature to prevent users to open a port in the 1-1024 range. Therefore, only root can start a program that listen on a port in that range...
Old 07-14-2005, 03:37 PM   #3
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At the time it was a dandy security feature. Most 13 year old kids sitting in their basements didn't have the money to go a big iron UNIX machine, so you were pretty much assured that if you were accessing a privileged port that the system owner started the process and that it could be (more or less) trusted.

The networks were a different place back then, even the internet. Before Robert Morris came along and reminded us that there was a whole big world out there, security was more a set of ethics than the business opportunity that it is now.
Old 07-14-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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So today servers start as root and then invoke a setuid call to drop root, so they don't become a hazard to the rest of the system.


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