I had noticed that the RHEL6 SSG and RHEL6 STIG both require checking /etc/login.defs for
the password minimum length parameter 'PASS_MIN_LEN'.
This differs from the RHEL5 STIG in which it requires it being configured via the
'minlen' parameter for cracklib.so within /etc/pam.d/system-auth.
Furthermore, the RHEL5 manpage indicates the enforcement of /etc/login.defs, as it relates
to passwords, as being deprecated. However, this is not indicated in the same manpage in
"Much of the functionality that used to be provided by the shadow password suite is
now handled by PAM. Thus, /etc/login.defs is no longer used by programs such as: login(1),
passwd(1), su(1). Please refer to the corresponding PAM configuration files
So I decided to test this to see if RHEL6 is actually enforcing the 'PASS_MIN_LEN'
parameter in /etc/login.defs, and it is not. I have it set to 14 and I was able to
configure a password with 12 characters.
So shouldn't this be changed to reflect how this is configured in RHEL5, or am I
Trey Henefield, CISSP
Senior IAVA Engineer
Advanced Tactical Systems, Inc.
4101 Smith School Road
Building IV, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78744 USA
Tel: +1 512 327 6795 ext. 647
Fax: +1 512 327 8043
Mobile: +1 512 541 6450
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