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I got a pc and a special application installed on it, the OS is FC4 and we don't have root password I tried several random passwords and after 3 times I realized that something fishy is happening behind the scene then I boot up with rescue disk and checked the hard disk and realized some files missed(deleted) and /etc/passwd values had changed.

so my question is, is it possible to change the way of authenticating linux?

P.S : I found an extra entry inside /etc/rc.sysinit which will lead to run 23 extra services but none of them is involved in changing /etc/passwd values after typing 3 wrong passwords in a row (or at least I couldn't find any clue).

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You got 0wn3d... the only safe way out is to disconnect from the network, rescue any important data (preferrably using a LiveCD or a rescue CD), and install from scratch. The rescued data has to be considered highly suspect until carefully scrutinized for fishy goings on.

If FC4 means Fedora Core 4, that is long past end of life. Can't you update? If updating yearly is a problem, consider CentOS.

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I really want to know how can I do such thing?and which files are responsible for authenticating? –  austin powers Apr 5 '13 at 18:31
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