AUTH-9218 - Accounts without password

This information is provided as part of the Lynis community project. It is related to Lynis control AUTH-9218 and should be considered as-is and without guarantees. Any advice and commands should be tested before implementing them in production environments.

Control details


Lynis checks for users accounts and which ones do not have a password. Accounts without a password are considered to be a bad practice, as each user should prove he or she is the rightful owner of the account. Lacking a password may give more than 1 authorized user access to the account and therefore seriously impact proper accounting. Loss of data or impact to the integrity of data may be the result of lacking passwords.

How to solve

Check each account which shows up without a password. Determine why this is the case and if the account is actually being used. If not, disable the account. If the account is used, determine who is using it. Determine a remediation plan to define a password and test functionality of the account and system, to prevent business processes suddenly failing. For example, the account may be used in shell scripts or configured in other software components.

Need more details?

Consider the upgrade to Lynis Enterprise to receive additional details and guidance. The Enterprise version helps to you with daily health checks of your environment, learn in-depth system hardening, and resources to protect your systems better.

See demo


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.

Lynis Enterprise

Do you need to collect data from multiple systems or compliance reporting? Lynis Enterprise uses Lynis to collect the data and make your work easier.

Benefits: automate security audits, detailed reporting, compliance testing.

  • Centralized management
  • Improvement plan with priorities
  • Reporting
  • Dashboards
  • Predefined policies
  • Integration (API)
  • Improvement snippets for tools like Ansible, Chef, Cfengine, Puppet, and SaltStack
Take the Tour