UCF STIG Viewer Logo

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


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-217894 RHEL-06-000058 SV-217894r505923_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 2020-09-03


Check Text ( C-19375r462379_chk )
To check how many special characters are required in a password, run the following command:

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

Note: 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-19373r462380_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.

Edit /etc/pam.d/system-auth and /etc/pam.d/password-auth adding "ocredit=-1" after pam_cracklib.so to require use of a special character in passwords.