Title: The DBMS must ensure users are authenticated with an individual authenticator prior to using a group authenticator.
Vulnerability ID: V-32447
IA Controls: None
Description: To assure individual accountability and prevent unauthorized access, application users (and any processes acting on behalf of users) must be individually identified and authenticated.
A group authenticator is a generic account used by multiple individuals. Use of a group authenticator alone does not uniquely identify individual users. An example of a group authenticator is the UNIX OS ‘root’ user account, a Windows ‘administrator’ account, an ‘SA’ account, or a ‘helpdesk’ account.
For example, the UNIX and Windows operating systems offer a ‘switch user’ capability allowing users to authenticate with their individual credentials and, when needed, ‘switch’ to the administrator role. This method provides for unique individual authentication prior to using a group authenticator.
Some applications may not have the need to provide a group authenticator; this is considered a matter of application design. In those instances where the application design includes the use of a group authenticator, this requirement will apply.
There may also be instances when specific user actions need to be performed on the information system without unique user identification or authentication. An example of this type of access is a web server which contains publicly releasable information. These types of accesses are allowed but must be explicitly identified and documented by the organization.
When group accounts are utilized without another means of identifying individual users, users may deny having performed a particular action.
Check Text: Review DBMS settings to determine whether group accounts exist. If group accounts do not exist, this is NA. Review DBMS settings to determine if individual authentication is required before group authentication. If group authentication does not require prior individual authentication, this is a finding.
Fix Text: Configure DBMS settings to require individual authentication prior to authentication for group account access.[divider]