BOOT-5184 - Writable start-up scripts

This information is provided as part of the Lynis community project. It is related to Lynis control BOOT-5184 and should be considered as-is and without guarantees. Any advice and commands should be tested before implementing them in production environments.

Control details


Unix based systems have an extensive boot process, from loading the bootloader up to the execution of post-boot scripts. Protecting the boot process is important for the integrity of the system. Start-up scripts define what services will be initialized and started during the boot process. Lynis tests if there are scripts with world writable permissions. These files can be changed by all users on the system and usually started with root permissions. Therefore they impose a risk to the system, as one might include a backdoor into a start-up script.

How to solve

Check the Lynis log file for the discovered files and adjust their permissions. Usually limiting the file permissions to just the root user will be sufficient.

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Lynis is a technical security auditing tool for Unix flavors like Linux, macOS, AIX, Solaris, and *BSD. It is open source software and free to use. Typical usage include system hardening, compliance testing, and vulnerability scanning. The project has an active community, including development via GitHub.

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