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Check the permissions on the /etc/mail/ directory. It sounds like you have the "w" bit enabled for "others" and the program won't run because any user would be able to change the configuration files. Similarily, the ssh shell won't accept connections if the private keys are world readable. There is a similar situation if the apache configuration file is writable by the same user that apache runs at. It would allow hacker to change the config file, to run as root, which after apache starts would allow them root access and the ability to break out of the jail.
note that some apps actually check that the permissions are strict enough, for security reasons, as described. you would think that it wouldnt matter, but you have to be careful with some apps. another example 'sudo'. /etc/sudoers has to be 'r--r-----' or it will throw it's toys out....
Solution for all Sendmail "World writable directory" error messages
Sendmail does a thorough check on write permissions on files and directories for Others (World), not only on the directory /etc/mail
And will not start if any of those write permissions are not to his liking.
You can overrule this check by changing the lines "Fw/etc/mail/..." to "Fw-o/etc/mail/..." in the files /etc/mail/sendmail.cf and /etc/mail/submit.cf
With these modifications, Sendmail will start, but with this "Fw-o" solution you're just overruling the permissions check, leaving the mail system insecure.
A better solution is to correct the permissions Sendmail is actually complaining about.
Correct the permissions with the following command: