Why is it necessary to store operating system passwords hashed? From what I've learned, passwords are stored on the hard drive/SSD in /etc/shadow. However, if a malicious agent was able to get access to this file, doesn't that mean they can potentially access all the user's other files? If so, what is the point of cracking the password if you already have access to everything?
To clarify, my initial thinking is that its a catch-22, you need the password to use the computer and view the password file but if you are viewing that file, you must already have broken in, and thus no longer need the password.
I understand that some people use their passwords in different places so having that information can be useful for a hacker, but I am more concerned with the purpose of having the password for the computer that was broken into. (And I am more thinking of in terms of personal computers, so its not guaranteed that the obtained password was used for other important things like bank accounts)