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LDAP System Administration by Gerald Carter

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Authentication

Why is authentication needed in an LDAP directory? Remember that LDAP is a connection-oriented, message-based protocol. The authentication process is used to establish the client’s privileges for each session. All searches, queries, etc. are controlled by the authorization level of the authenticated user.

Figure 2-8 describes the person object class and gives you an idea of what other attributes are available for the cn=gerald carter entry in Figure 2-1. In particular, you will need to define a userPassword attribute value to further explore LDAP authentication.

person objectClass
Figure 2-8. person objectClass

The LDIF representation for the expanded version cn=gerald carter is:

dn: cn=gerald carter,ou=people,dc=plainjoe,dc=org
objectClass: person
cn: gerald carter
sn: carter
telephoneNumber: 555-1234
userPassword: {MD5}Xr4ilOzQ4PCOq3aQ0qbuaQ=  =

We have added an attribute named userPassword. This attribute stores a representation of the credentials necessary to authenticate a user. The prefix (in this case, {MD5}) describes how the credentials are encoded. The value in this case is simply the Base64 encoding of the MD5 hash of the word “secret.”

RFC 2307 defines prefixes for several encryption algorithms. These are vendor-dependent, and you should consult your server’s documentation to determine which are supported. Generating userPassword values will be covered in more detail in the context ...

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