Problems with finger

When a user uses finger to look up a user name from a real name the system returns
finger: ______: no such user
I.e. it is acting like finger -m not finger.  So I tried
# unalias finger
thinking a configuration script had aliased it, but it was not aliased.  I am using a Slackware 3.1 distribution.  I'm not sure what version of finger it is.  Right now a work around is being worked on, but we'd like to have finger working properly for our users.  I don't imagine that it is an actual bug in the program, more likely a mess up in a configuration somewhere, but where I do not know.  The inetd.conf file looks OK.  Any Ideas?
phil, just philAsked:
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mossmannCommented:
This problem is most likely due to an access error with the /etc/passwd file.  Try (as root) "chmod 444 /etc/passwd" and see if that fixes the problem.  Note that this has security implications.
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