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The Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system must be configured so that when passwords are changed a minimum of eight of the total number of characters must be changed.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-204411 RHEL-07-010160 SV-204411r603261_rule Medium
Use of a complex password helps to increase the time and resources required to compromise the password. Password complexity, or strength, is a measure of the effectiveness of a password in resisting attempts at guessing and brute-force attacks. Password complexity is one factor of several that determines how long it takes to crack a password. The more complex the password, the greater the number of possible combinations that need to be tested before the password is compromised.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Security Technical Implementation Guide 2022-12-06


Check Text ( C-4535r88425_chk )
The "difok" option sets the number of characters in a password that must not be present in the old password.

Check for the value of the "difok" option in "/etc/security/pwquality.conf" with the following command:

# grep difok /etc/security/pwquality.conf
difok = 8

If the value of "difok" is set to less than "8", this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-4535r88426_fix)
Configure the operating system to require the change of at least eight of the total number of characters when passwords are changed by setting the "difok" option.

Add the following line to "/etc/security/pwquality.conf" (or modify the line to have the required value):

difok = 8