oracle account in /etc/passwd

 
I am having trouble getting my scripts to login and run against a 10g database 
on solaris 8.
 
I can login from the cmd prompt as sysdba all day long.
 
this is the only entry in /etc/passwd that refers to oracle:
 
(oracle) $ more /etc/passwd
+oracle:x:::::
 
In /etc/group I see no entries for dba and oinstall.  Oracle and oinstall are 
the software installers and owners.
 
Again I can login to sql*plus as sysdba with no problem.
 
 
What does the +oracle  entry mean in /etc/passwd?
 
Is it authenticating from some other mechanism?
 
 
thanks.
 
 
 
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