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Security Patrol: Security Questions & Answers

IBM i (OS/400, i5/OS)
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Q: The operators claim that they need *SPLCTL special authority to start print writers and answer the printer messages. Is *SPLCTL special authority required for operators to perform printer management tasks?

A: The special authority *SPLCTL is not required for operators to manage print writers. When you give a user *SPLCTL special authority, that user can access any spooled file on the system. You cannot prevent that user from viewing sensitive output, such as payroll data. Therefore, only security officers should have *SPLCTL special authority.

AS/400 security does not protect individual spooled files. However, you can control access to confidential output by the security and attributes of the output queue used to store the spool files.

When you create a special output queue, you can specify several security parameters.

o The DSPDTA parameter determines whether a user can view, send, or copy a spooled file owned by another user.

o The AUTCHK parameter determines whether a user can change or delete a spooled file owned by another user.

o The OPRCTL parameter determines whether users with *JOBCTL special authority are allowed to control the output queue.

The output queue parameters, the user's authority to the output queue, and the user's special authority work together to determine the functions the user is allowed to perform on spooled files in an output queue. 1 illustrates the authority needed to perform print-related operations and shows the combination of output queue parameters and authority to the output queue required to perform print management functions on the system.

The output queue parameters, the user's authority to the output queue, and the user's special authority work together to determine the functions the user is allowed to perform on spooled files in an output queue. Figure 1 illustrates the authority needed to perform print-related operations and shows the combination of output queue parameters and authority to the output queue required to perform print management functions on the system.

For some functions, more than one combination is listed. The owner of a spooled file can always perform all functions on that file. (*SPLCTL special authority allows the user to perform all operations on all output queues, so be careful whom you give *SPLCTL special authority to.)

Following are several examples of ways to set security parameters for output queues to meet different requirements. The first example is for a general- purpose output queue that allows users to display all spooled files. The system operators can manage the queue and change spooled files.

 CRTOUTQ OUTQ(QGPL/PRINTOUT) + DSPDTA(*YES) + OPRCTL(*YES) + AUTCHK(*OWNER) + AUT(*USE) 

The next example shows an output queue for a SALES application in which only the members of the group profile GRPSALES are allowed to use the output queue. All authorized users of the output queue are allowed to display all spooled files. System operators are not allowed to work with the output queue.

 CRTOUTQ OUTQ(LIBSALES/SALESOUT) + DSPDTA(*YES) + OPRCTL(*NO) + AUTCHK(*OWNER) + AUT(*EXCLUDE) GRTOBJAUT OBJ(LIBSALES/SALESOUT) + OBJTYPE(*OUTQ) + USER(GRPSALES) + AUT(*CHANGE) 

This last example shows a confidential output queue that is shared by users printing confidential files and documents. Users can work with only their own spooled files. System operators can work with the spooled files, but they cannot display the contents of the files.

 CRTOUTQ OUTQ(QGPL/SECURE) + DSPDTA(*OWNER) + AUTCHK(*OWNER) + OPRCTL(*YES) + AUT(*USE) 

The SECURE output queue in the previous example does not prevent access to spooled files for users who have*SPLCTL and *ALLOBJ special authority. System users with *SPLCTL special authority are able to access spooled files. System users with *ALLOBJ special authority are not able to access spooled files owned by others because of the DSPDTA(*OWNER) specification. (However, users with *ALLOBJ special authority can change the attributes of the output queue and then view the data.)

Q:I have specified Limit Capabilities LMTCPB(*YES) for all of the application users so they do not have command line access. The application restricts what users can access and prevents them from deleting files. Since I have that level of security, can I specify *PUBLIC authority of *ALL for the production files on my AS/400?

A: Do not assume that LMTCPB(*YES) is all of the security that you need to protect the data on your AS/400. Security was much simpler and LMTCPB(*YES) was sufficient in the "good old days" when every system was a stand-alone system. Today, AS/400s are usually connected to other systems-PCs, AS/400s, or other platforms. LMTCPB(*YES) is not sufficient to protect your confidential files. You must use resource security to limit access to confidential data. A user from a PC or another system can submit AS/400 commands or use file transfer to copy and modify production files.

Client Access (PC Support) and Distributed Data Management (DDM) support exit programs that can be used to restrict the use of certain functions. An increasing number of AS/400s are using TCP/IP, which supports file transfer and is not controlled by an exit program. To protect the data on your AS/400 you must limit access to the library or to the individual data files.


Security Patrol: Security Questions & Answers

Figure 1 Authority Required to Perform Printing Functions

 Printing Output Queue Parameter Output Special Function Queue Authority Objective DSPDTA AUTCHK OPRCTL Authority (1) Add spooled files to Any Any Any *READ None queue Any Any *YES Any *JOBCTL View list of Any Any Any *READ None spooled files (WRKOUTQ Any Any *YES Any *JOBCTL command (2)) Display copy or *YES Any Any *READ None send spooled files *NO *DTAAUT Any *CHANGE None (DSPSPLF *NO *OWNER Any Owner (3) None CPYSPLF *YES Any *YES Any *JOBCTL SNDNETSPLF *NO Any *YES Any *JOBCTL SNDTCPSPLF (2)) *OWNER (5) Any Any Any Any Change, delete, hold, Any *DTAAUT Any *CHANGE None and release spooled file Any *OWNER Any Owner (3) None (HLDSPLF RLSSPLF (2)) Any Any *YES Any *JOBCTL Change, clear, hold, Any *DTAAUT Any *CHANGE None and release output queue (CHGOUTQ Any *OWNER Any Owner (3) None CLROUTQ HLDOUTQ Any Any *YES Any *JOBCTL RLSOUTQ (2)) Start a writer for Any *DTAAUT Any *CHANGE None the queue (4) (STRPRTWTR Any Any *YES Any *JOBCTL STRRMTWTR (2)) (1) A user with *SPLCTL special authority can perform the operation for any spool queue. A user with *ALLOBJ special authority can change the output queue attributes and then access the spool files on the output queue. (2) You must use these commands or equivalent options from a display. (3) You must be the owner of the output queue. (4) You must have *USE authority to the printer device description. (5) You must be the owner of the spooled file or have *SPLCTL special authority. 
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