On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 2:56 PM, Stephen Frost <sfr...@snowman.net> wrote:
> I agree that it may not be obvious which cases lead to a relatively easy
> way to obtain superuser and which don't, and that's actually why I'd
> much rather it be something that we're considering and looking out for
> because, frankly, we're in a much better position generally to realize
> those cases than our users are.

I disagree.  It's flattering to imagine that PostgreSQL developers, as
a class, are smarter than PostgreSQL users, but it doesn't match my

> Further, I agree entirely that we
> shouldn't be deciding that certain capabilities are never allowed to be
> given to a user- but that's why superuser *exists* and why it's possible
> to give superuser access to multiple users.  The question here is if
> it's actually sensible for us to make certain actions be grantable to
> non-superusers which allow that role to become, or to essentially be, a
> superuser.  What that does, just as it does in the table case, from my
> viewpoint at least, is make it *look* to admins like they're grant'ing
> something less than superuser when, really, they're actually giving the
> user superuser-level access.  That violates the POLA because the admin
> didn't write 'ALTER USER joe WITH SUPERUSER', they just wrote 'GRANT
> EXECUTE ON lo_import() TO joe;'.

This is exactly the kind of thing that I'm talking about.  Forcing an
administrator to hand out full superuser access instead of being able
to give just lo_import() makes life difficult for users for no good
reason.  The existence of a theoretically-exploitable security
vulnerability is not tantamount to really having access, especially on
a system with a secured logging facility.

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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