Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (8)
Updated: 21th June 1997
The safe_finger command protects against nasty stuff from finger servers. Use this program for automatic reverse finger probes from the tcp_wrapper (tcpd) , not the raw finger command. The safe_finger command makes sure that the finger client is not run with root privileges. It also runs the finger client with a defined PATH environment. safe_finger will also protect you from problems caused by the output of some finger servers. The problem: some programs may react to stuff in the first column. Other programs may get upset by thrash anywhere on a line. File systems may fill up as the finger server keeps sending data. Text editors may bomb out on extremely long lines. The finger server may take forever because it is somehow wedged. safe_finger takes care of all this badness.
Wietse Venema, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.