IT Best Practices Tip: nist_V-38502
The /etc/shadow file must be owned by root.
The "/etc/shadow" file contains the list of local system accounts and stores password hashes. Protection of this file is critical for system security. Failure to give ownership of this file to root provides the designated owner with access to sensitive information which could weaken the system security posture.
How to Check Correct Configuration
To check the ownership of "/etc/shadow", run the command:
$ ls -l /etc/shadow
If properly configured, the output should indicate the following owner: "root"
If it does not, this is a finding.
How to Fix
To properly set the owner of "/etc/shadow", run the command:
# chown root /etc/shadow