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NewsForge: Hardening Linux Authentication and User Identity

Sep 24, 2004, 08:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John H. Terpstra, Paul Love, Ronald P. Reck, Tim Scanlon)

"PAM is an authentication mechanism that originated on Solaris, but is used on various systems, including Linux. The Linux PAM implementation allows a system administrator to choose how users authenticate to various services. New modules can be added by an administrator at any time, offering overall flexibility in how authentication happens.

"Traditionally, Linux and other Unix-like systems simply authenticated users against an entry in the file /etc/passwd. Everyone had read-only access to the password file, and the encrypted passwords were available to anyone with access to the system..."

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