HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security: OpenVMS Version 8.4 > Appendix A Assigning Privileges
Usually, process I/O requests are handled indirectly by use of an I/O package such as OpenVMS Record Management Services (RMS). However, to increase their control over I/O operations and to improve the efficiency of their applications, skilled users sometimes prefer to handle directly the interface between their process and a system I/O driver program. They can do this by executing the $QIO system service; in many instances, the operation called for is a physical-level I/O operation.
Grant the PHY_IO privilege only to users who need it; grant this privilege even more carefully than the LOG_IO privilege. If this privilege is given to unqualified users who have no need for it, the operating system and service to other users can be easily disrupted. Such disruptions can include the destruction of information on the system device, the destruction of user data, and the exposure of confidential information.