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Solaris 8 Security by Edgar Danielyan

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/etc/passwd and /etc/shadow

The files /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow are central to authentication in UNIX.They are extensively documented, both in Solaris documentation and books on UNIX, and are generally well-known and understood. Because the actual passwords (although encrypted) are contained in /etc/shadow, it is necessary to pay close attention to how this file is stored, accessed, and transported.

Permissions on /etc/shadow should be only readable and only by root; all other users should have no access whatsoever to this file. Care should be taken not to transmit this file over insecure network connections (such as FTP or insecure NFS). System backups (especially those containing the /etc directory) should be adequately protected from physical ...

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