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Fun with sudo (or how to scare a co-worker)

by Jeremy L. Gaddis on April 20, 2011 · 4 comments

in Humor

Inspired by a thread on Reddit, I decided to have some fun with sudo. This could also be known as “potentially scaring the crap out of a co-worker”.

This screenshot should be self-explanatory to those of you familiar with Linux:

What the above shows is that I made a modification to the /etc/sudoers file on a server. I told sudo to, instead of using its default password prompt, use an alternative prompt when requesting the user’s password.

At 10:20pm Wednesday night, I receive a PGP encrypted e-mail from my co-worker Ralph (name changed to protect the innocent). At 10:21pm my phone rings.

It seems that he noticed the new password prompt. Here’s what his e-mail decrypted to:

Is this a joke, or did we get hacked?

him@server:~$ sudo apt-get update

I reassured him that I had changed the prompt and pointed him to the git log. =)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralph ;-) April 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Yep, ya got me!


bobbyd3 April 21, 2011 at 12:04 am



Carles September 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

I have to tell you: this is soooo freak!

A prompt like: “enter your pet name:”, “how old is your grandma:”, “hav you had sex today:”, … would be funny!

But a prompt asking “enter nuclear launch code:” is 60-70′s freakyness inspired by ”war games” and Star Trek! :D


Mustapha Rabiu May 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm

How very elite …


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