There are some security risks inherent in the use of
xargs and (to a lesser extent)
locate. The severity of
these risks depends on what sort of system you are using:
find, including areas where those other users can manipulate the filesystem (for example beneath /home or /tmp).
findis being run. This access might include leaving programs running (shell background jobs,
crontasks, for example). On these sorts of systems, carefully written commands (avoiding use of ‘-print’ for example) should not expose you to a high degree of risk. Most systems fall into this category.
In the discussion above, “risk” denotes the likelihood that someone
locate or some other
program which is controlled by them to do something you did not
intend. The levels of risk suggested do not take any account of the
consequences of this sort of event. That is, if you operate a “low
risk” type system, but the consequences of a security problem are
disastrous, then you should still give serious thought to all the
possible security problems, many of which of course will not be
discussed here – this section of the manual is intended to be
informative but not comprehensive or exhaustive.
If you are responsible for the operation of a system where the consequences of a security problem could be very important, you should do two things:-
 Of course, I trust these parties to a large extent anyway, because I install software provided by them; I choose to trust them in this way, and that's a deliberate choice