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Home : Advisories : Unisys U5000 /etc/passwd problem

Title: Unisys U5000 /etc/passwd problem
Released by: CERT
Date: 7th May 1990
Printable version: Click here

Hash: SHA1


Last revised:  September 17,1997

                Attached Copyright Statement

                               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

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

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Software Engineering Institute

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Internet: cert@cert.org

Telephone: 412-268-7090 24-hour hotline: CERT personnel answer

           7:30a.m.-6:00p.m. EST, on call for

           emergencies other hours.

Past advisories and other information are available for anonymous ftp

from cert.org (

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

Copyright 1997 Carnegie Mellon University. Conditions for use, disclaimers,

and sponsorship information can be found in

http://www.cert.org/legal_stuff.html and http://ftp.cert.org/pub/legal_stuff .

If you do not have FTP or web access, send mail to cert@cert.org with

"copyright" in the subject line.

CERT is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Revision History:

September 17,1997  Attached Copyright Statement


Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0

Charset: noconv





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