This is a more interesting example: notice the letter s where until now we saw an x. This indicates that the file runs with the permissions of its owner (root) even when it is executed by another user: Such a file is known as being suid root (set user ID upon execution). There are a small number of executables on the system that need to have these permissions. This number is kept as small as possible because there is a potential for security problems if ever a way could be found to make such a file perform a task other than what it was written for.
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