TOC & Recently Viewed

Recently Viewed Topics


This built-in function ensures that each line in /etc/passwd has a valid format (e.g., seven fields separated by colon). If a line is malformed, it is reported and the check fails.

Having a malformed /etc/passwd file can break several user-management tools. It may also indicate a break-in or a bug in a custom user-management application. It may also show that someone attempted to add a user with an invalid name (in the past, it was popular to create a user named “toor:0:0” to obtain root privileges).

If the test is considered non-compliant, the administrator must remove or fix the offending lines from /etc/passwd.



name: "passwd_file_consistency"

description: "This check makes sure /etc/passwd is valid."


Copyright 2017 Tenable, Inc. All rights reserved. Tenable Network Security, Nessus, SecurityCenter, SecurityCenter Continuous View and Log Correlation Engine are registered trademarks of Tenable, Inc.  Tenable,, Assure, and The Cyber Exposure Company are trademarks of Tenable, Inc.  All other products or services are trademarks of their respective owners.