Ensure shadow Group is Empty


The shadow group allows system programs which require access the ability to read the /etc/shadow file. No users should be assigned to the shadow group.


Any users assigned to the shadow group would be granted read access to the /etc/shadow file. If attackers can gain read access to the /etc/shadow file, they can easily run a password cracking program against the hashed passwords to break them. Other security information that is stored in the /etc/shadow file (such as expiration) could also be useful to subvert additional user accounts.


Shell script

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


sed -ri 's/(^shadow:[^:]*:[^:]*:)([^:]+$)/\1/' /etc/group


This rule remediation will ensure the group membership is empty in /etc/group. To avoid any disruption the remediation won’t change the primary group of users in /etc/passwd if any user has the shadow GID as primary group.