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The system must prohibit the reuse of passwords within five iterations.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-218026 RHEL-06-000274 SV-218026r505923_rule Medium
Preventing reuse of previous passwords helps ensure that a compromised password is not reused by a user.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Security Technical Implementation Guide 2020-09-03


Check Text ( C-19507r462403_chk )
To verify the password reuse setting is compliant, run the following command:

# grep remember /etc/pam.d/system-auth /etc/pam.d/password-auth

If the line is commented out, the line does not contain "password required pam_pwhistory.so" or "password requisite pam_pwhistory.so", or the value for "remember" is less than “5”, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-19505r462404_fix)
Do not allow users to reuse recent passwords. This can be accomplished by using the "remember" option for the "pam_pwhistory" PAM module. In the file "/etc/pam.d/system-auth" and /etc/pam.d/password-auth, append "remember=5" to the lines that refer to the "pam_pwhistory.so" module, as shown:

password required pam_pwhistory.so [existing_options] remember=5


password requisite pam_pwhistory.so [existing_options] remember=5

The DoD requirement is five passwords.