This morning i was awakened by multiple alarm emails sent by our zabbix agent monitoring system, telling us that /etc/passwd was being modified. The agent sent us an email for every one of our droplets (debian 9 stretch).

After the initial scare, i checked the apt logs and it seems that do-agent service was upgraded silently:

apt-get -o Dpkg::Options::=--force-confdef -o Dpkg::Options::=--force-confold -qq install -y --only-upgrade do-agent

No other alarms were going off, and everything seems to be working nominal.

I think the changes to /etc/passwd were made to the do-agent user during the upgrade process, but i would like to know from you guys if this is actually the case.

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Hi there @andreagolin,

Yes, indeed this seems to be the case. I checked this on one of my Droplets and I noticed the same thing.

You could check it as well with the following command:

  • sudo sdiff /etc/passwd /etc/passwd-

The /etc/passwd- file is basically a ‘backup’ of the /etc/passwd file, so with the sdiff command you will be able to see what exactly changed last night.