For a finite group $G$ and a finite set $A$, we study various algebraic aspects of cellular automata over the configuration space $A^G$. In this situation, the set $\text{CA}(G;A)$ of all cellular automata over $A^G$ is a finite monoid whose basic algebraic properties had remained unknown. First, we investigate the structure of the group of units $\text{ICA}(G;A)$ of $\text{CA}(G;A)$. We obtain a decomposition of $\text{ICA}(G;A)$ into a direct product of wreath products of groups that depends on the numbers $\alpha_{[H]}$ of periodic configurations for conjugacy classes $[H]$ of subgroups of $G$. We show how the numbers $\alpha_{[H]}$ may be computed using the M\"obius function of the subgroup lattice of $G$, and we use this to improve the lower bound recently found by Gao, Jackson and Seward on the number of aperiodic configurations of $A^G$. Furthermore, we study generating sets of $\text{CA}(G;A)$; in particular, we prove that $\text{CA}(G;A)$ cannot be generated by cellular automata with small memory set, and, when all subgroups of $G$ are normal, we determine the relative rank of $\text{ICA}(G;A)$ on $\text{CA}(G;A)$, i.e. the minimal size of a set $V \subseteq \text{CA}(G;A)$ such that $\text{CA}(G;A) = \langle \text{ICA}(G;A) \cup V \rangle$.

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