User Initialization Files Must Be Group-Owned By The Primary Group


Change the group owner of interactive users files to the group found in


for the user. To change the group owner of a local interactive user home directory, use the following command:

$ sudo chgrp USER_GROUP /home/USER/.INIT_FILE

This rule ensures every initialization file related to an interactive user is group-owned by an interactive user.


Local initialization files for interactive users are used to configure the user’s shell environment upon logon. Malicious modification of these files could compromise accounts upon logon.


Shell script

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


awk -F':' '{ if ($3 >= 1000 && $3 != 65534) system("chgrp -f " $4" "$6"/.[^\.]?*") }' /etc/passwd

Ansible playbook

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

- name: Ensure interactive local users are the group-owners of their respective initialization
    cmd: awk -F':' '{ if ($3 >= 1000 && $3 != 65534) system("chgrp -f " $4" "$6"/.[^\.]?*")
      }' /etc/passwd
  - accounts_user_dot_group_ownership
  - low_complexity
  - low_disruption
  - medium_severity
  - no_reboot_needed
  - restrict_strategy


Due to OVAL limitation, this rule can report a false negative in a specific situation where two interactive users swap the group-ownership of their respective initialization files.