/etc/passwd permission

Hi,
Can I know why the default /etc/passwd permission is set to -r--r--r--?

Isn't it that any user who login will be able to read all the encrypted password in it? Can I change it to -r--r----- so that no other group can view it. Will it have any impact on others command?

Thanx.
joekwchenAsked:
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rbrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
passwd must be readable for all users and writeable for root. If you change it no other then root will be able to login. Yes it is true thar every user can read the passwd file but there should be no problem. It is allmost impossible to decrypt it out of since linux ( and almost every other unix flavour) use a one way encryption.
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joekwchenAuthor Commented:

What is one-way encryption?
Isn't it there are lots of password cracking program out there?

Thanx.
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rbrCommented:
one way encryption means that you can't decrypt the password out of the decrypted text. You have to check all compinations. Since many user uses simple passwords cracking tools use dictonaries, ...
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