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Did anyone ever experienced a home directory mysteriously becoming non-executable?

The context:

Ubuntu 10.04. The vsftpd server is installed and running.
I have created a regular user ftp_poze.
Another application uploads via FTP some files into the ~ftp_poze/images directory.

What happened:

For some strange reason, the FTP uploading stopped working.
When analysing the situation, I found /home/ftp_poze and /home/ftp_poze/images with some strange permissions 0440

The user was no longer able to access its own home directory!

I have already fixed the directory permissions, but I need to understand what did actually happen.

Does anyone have any idea about what could have caused the directory permissions to be changed?

I am certain that it didn't happen due to human intervention.

share|improve this question

Even though you've said it didn't happen with human intervention, the most likely cause is that someone recursively changed permissions higher up in the filesystem, and the command affected more than was expected. An example would be running chmod -R a-x /home/someuser, which would affect directories as well as regular files.

It may have been a custom script that ran the chmod command - check your crontab to see if there are any scheduled jobs that may have done it:

crontab -l
share|improve this answer
The only human user who has access to the machine is me. But only root or the ftp-poze would have had the rights to change the permissions of the home dir. I am beginning to suspect vsftpd bug or wrong configuration. – syraxes Oct 26 '12 at 16:58

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