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[suse-security] /etc/shadow unchanged but password not valid anymore


I'm facing something like a miracle:
On a SuSE 9.3 PC from time to time for some users the login is denied but the 
accounts are not set up with expiration nor are they disabled and 
the /etc/shadow is unchanged (compared with diff and md5sum with a copy of 
the file).
In the log you get:
Nov 12 22:12:34 tombombadil sshd[8677]: error: PAM: Authentication failure for 
bla from dslb-...

Two other accounts still work every time.
Hashing-algorithm for files in /etc/default/passwd is blowfish (CRYPT=des but 
When running a passwd bla as root and defining the same password as before 
everything ist fine again.
I ran chkrootkit (from a clean enviroment) on the machine without finding 
anything suspicious.

Can anyone give me a hint?

Eat, sleep and go running,
David Hücking.

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