(find.info)Security Considerations

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10 Security Considerations

Security considerations are important if you are using `find' or
`xargs' to search for or process files that don't belong to you or
which other people have control.  Security considerations relating to
`locate' may also apply if you have files which you do not want others
to see.

   The most severe forms of security problems affecting `find' and
related programs are when third parties bring about a situation
allowing them to do something they would normally not be able to
accomplish.  This is called _privilege elevation_.  This might include
deleting files they would not normally be able to delete.  It is common
for the operating system to periodically invoke `find' for
self-maintenance purposes.  These invocations of `find' are
particularly problematic from a security point of view as these are
often invoked by the superuser and search the entire filesystem
hierarchy.  Generally, the severity of any associated problem depends
on what the system is going to do with the files found by `find'.

Levels of Risk
What is your level of exposure to security problems?
Security Considerations for find
Security problems with find
Security Considerations for xargs
Security problems with xargs
Security Considerations for locate
Security problems with locate
Security Summary
That was all very complex, what does it boil down to?

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