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The system must require passwords to contain at least one special character.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-38570 RHEL-06-000058 SV-50371r1_rule Low
Requiring a minimum number of special characters makes password guessing attacks more difficult by ensuring a larger search space.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Security Technical Implementation Guide 2015-05-26


Check Text ( C-46128r1_chk )
To check how many special characters are required in a password, run the following command:

$ grep pam_cracklib /etc/pam.d/system-auth

The "ocredit" parameter (as a negative number) will indicate how many special characters are required. The DoD requires at least one special character in a password. This would appear as "ocredit=-1".
If ocredit is not found or not set to the required value, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-43518r1_fix)
The pam_cracklib module's "ocredit=" parameter controls requirements for usage of special (or ``other'') characters in a password. When set to a negative number, any password will be required to contain that many special characters. When set to a positive number, pam_cracklib will grant +1 additional length credit for each special character. Add "ocredit=-1" after pam_cracklib.so to require use of a special character in passwords.