What You Don't Know
Earlier today while logged into irc, someone asked what the repercussions of chmod 644 /var/log/messages would be. Wanting to save someone from themselves (as well as work on my people skills), I replied.
Logs are mostly a security tool and the default permissions are in place as part of the security. I would recommend a tool such as logcheck, which is fairly easy to configure out of the box. It will also mail reports to the user of your choice.
I must be getting into the holiday spirit.
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