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TUCoPS :: Unix :: General :: cert0010.txt

CERT Advisory CA-90:03 unisys warning


CA-90:03                       CERT Advisory
                                May 7, 1990
                    Unisys U5000 /etc/passwd problem

- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The CERT/CC has recently verified several reports of unauthorized access 
to Internet connected Unisys systems.  The intruder(s) gained access to 
these systems by logging into vendor supplied default accounts; accounts 
that had not been given passwords by the systems' owners.  

Gary Garb, Corporate Computer Security Officer for Unisys Corporation, 

 "The Unisys U5000 series UNIX systems are delivered with a number of
 system logins.  The logins are NOT password protected when the
 customer receives the system.  Unless the customer secures these logins,
 the system is vulnerable to unauthorized access."

 "A complete list of these logins can be found in the /etc/passwd file.
 Each login is described by one record in /etc/passwd which contains a 
 number of fields separated by colons.  The second field normally would
 contain the encrypted password.  The system logins will initially have
 a null second field (indicated by two adjacent colons) in their descriptive
 records in /etc/passwd."

 "The U5000/80/85/90/95 System V Administration Guide, Volume 1 (UP13679)
 begins with a chapter on "System Identification and Security".  On page 1-2
 it states, "All logins should have passwords ... Logins that are not needed
 should be either removed (by deleting from /etc/passwd) or blocked (by 
 locking the login as described in the section "Locking Unused Logins" on
 page 1-8).  The Guide contains complete instructions on controlling logins
 and passwords."

 "It is the user's (system administrator's) responsibility to thoroughly
 read the Guide and to ensure the security of the system.  *Securing the 
 login entries should be of the highest priority and should be accomplished
 before anyone else has access to the system.*"

The CERT/CC urges administrators of Unisys systems, as well as administrators 
of systems provided by other vendors,  to check their systems and insure all 
accounts are protected by passwords; passwords that are different from the 
default passwords provided by the vendor. 

Questions regarding the security aspects of Unisys systems should be directed 
   Gary Garb, Corporate Security Officer
   Unisys Corporation
   (215) 986-4038
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Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Telephone: 412-268-7090 24-hour hotline: CERT personnel answer
           7:30a.m.-6:00p.m. EST, on call for
           emergencies other hours.

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