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The system must not permit direct logons to the root account using remote access via SSH.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-72247 RHEL-07-040370 SV-86871r2_rule Medium
Even though the communications channel may be encrypted, an additional layer of security is gained by extending the policy of not logging on directly as root. In addition, logging on with a user-specific account provides individual accountability of actions performed on the system.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Security Technical Implementation Guide 2017-12-14


Check Text ( C-72481r1_chk )
Verify remote access using SSH prevents users from logging on directly as root.

Check that SSH prevents users from logging on directly as root with the following command:

# grep -i permitrootlogin /etc/ssh/sshd_config
PermitRootLogin no

If the "PermitRootLogin" keyword is set to "yes", is missing, or is commented out, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-78601r2_fix)
Configure SSH to stop users from logging on remotely as the root user.

Edit the appropriate "/etc/ssh/sshd_config" file to uncomment or add the line for the "PermitRootLogin" keyword and set its value to "no" (this file may be named differently or be in a different location if using a version of SSH that is provided by a third-party vendor):

PermitRootLogin no

The SSH service must be restarted for changes to take effect.