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From "Emmanuel Lecharny (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Commented: (DIRSERVER-817) SimpleAuthenticator ehancements, including support for one-way hash for admin password in server.xml
Date Sat, 21 Apr 2007 10:20:15 GMT


Emmanuel Lecharny commented on DIRSERVER-817:

After having worked on the SimpleAuthenticator, and regarding the evolutions we will implement
in the way the configuration will be handled, I think that storing the password in the server.xml
file is really a security breach.

We should simply store the password (encrypted) into the server when creating the packages,
up to the user to change it when he first start the server. May be the installer should ask
for another password, otherwize the installation will abort.

> SimpleAuthenticator ehancements, including support for one-way hash for admin password
in server.xml
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: DIRSERVER-817
>                 URL:
>             Project: Directory ApacheDS
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: core
>    Affects Versions: 1.5.0, 1.0
>         Environment: N/A
>            Reporter: Norval Hope
>             Fix For: 1.5.1
>         Attachments: simpleauth.patch
> Currently persistent storage of passwords as one-way hashes is supported for partitions,
but the admin password appears as cleartext in server.xml. I am submitting a patch that allows
a one-way hash to be used in server.xml to protect the admin passord. Unfortunately if a user
wants both of these features at the same time:
>     a) one-way hashes used for password persistently stored in AD partition    AND
>     b) one-way hash used for admin password in server.xml
> then SimpleAuthenticator has to accept one-way hashes for both "userPassword" (persistently
stored value) and "creds" (password provided in bind, which takes text from server.xml in
 the case where front-end of server authenticates to back-end in
and compare them literally when both are one-way hashed. This effectively results in the password
being in cleartext (or more exactly a cleartext alias) in server.xml again, but in a form
that might put off potential hackers (a very big "might"). Hence end-users really end up choosing
between option a) OR b) above.
> Also included in the patch is support I needed to get an inflexible legacy client to
talk to AD. As AD doesn't support changing the DN of the admin users, and the client didn't
support changing of the bind DN it used, I added a simple ""
property which allowed specification of an alias for AD's admin user's DN.
> Not sure how much interest any of this to anyone else, but thought I'd raise a JIRA about
the cleartext password in server.xml and may the patch available in case. The root problem
seems to be the fairly strange way the the AD front-end needs the admin password from server.xml
to bind to the back-end.

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