I was reminded by this article on Evi Nemeth of the days before sudo. It seems like every group of UNIX users had an "su alternative" that avoided having to share the root password.
su alternative at Berkeley was called "setsh". It wasn't just used for
root, users could let other users into their account using setsh - this
was a necessary evil back then because users could only be in one group
at a time. It was generally distributed as source, users would edit the
names of other users they wanted to let into their account into a table
in the code, and compile it and leave a copy in ~/bin. So to run a
command as someone you were working with you'd run "~them/bin/setsh" and
if you were in the list, you'd get a shell su-ed to them.
Surprisingly, in hindsight, I don't recall ever hearing of anyone putting a boobytrap into ~/bin/setsh.