New sysadmin lecture

You’re a production sysadmin now. That comes with certain responsibilities. In short:

  1. Respect the user’s privacy, and look at only what you must.
  2. Think before you type.
  3. With great power comes great responsibility.

Assorted tips:

Spear Phishing

Because you now have access to production systems, you may be a target for spear phishing. A bad actor may target you directly in a social engineering attack in an attempt to get you to leverage your access to mistakenly compromise the system. For example, someone may impersonate another admin and ask you to add an SSH key to a server. You need to be aware of this risk.

If you receive a request to leverage your access for any reason, double check the veracity of the request. Is the person on IRC identified with NickServ for the correct account? Is the email they sent DKIM signed and verified from the right sender? If in doubt, ask for a secondary form of authentication, such as a PGP challenge.

This also applies to normal requests from users - don’t let someone impersonate another user in an attempt to gain access to or manipulate their account. Be especially careful with requests from users with 2FA enabled.