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Description

The crond service is used to execute commands at preconfigured times. It is required by almost all systems to perform necessary maintenance tasks, such as notifying root of system activity.

The cron service can be enabled with the following command:

$ sudo systemctl enable cron.service

Rationale

Due to its usage for maintenance and security-supporting tasks, enabling the cron daemon is essential.

Remediation

Shell script

The following script can be run on the host to remediate the issue.

#!/bin/bash

# Remediation is applicable only in certain platforms
if [ ! -f /.dockerenv ] && [ ! -f /run/.containerenv ]; then

SYSTEMCTL_EXEC='/usr/bin/systemctl'
"$SYSTEMCTL_EXEC" unmask 'cron.service'
"$SYSTEMCTL_EXEC" start 'cron.service'
"$SYSTEMCTL_EXEC" enable 'cron.service'

else
    >&2 echo 'Remediation is not applicable, nothing was done'
fi

Ansible playbook

The following playbook can be run with Ansible to remediate the issue.

- name: Enable service cron
  block:

  - name: Gather the package facts
    package_facts:
      manager: auto

  - name: Enable service cron
    systemd:
      name: cron
      enabled: 'yes'
      state: started
      masked: 'no'
    when:
    - '"cron" in ansible_facts.packages'
  when: ansible_virtualization_type not in ["docker", "lxc", "openvz", "podman", "container"]
  tags:
  - NIST-800-53-CM-6(a)
  - PCI-DSSv4-2.2.6
  - enable_strategy
  - low_complexity
  - low_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - no_reboot_needed
  - service_cron_enabled