FAQ 8.11 How do I decode encrypted password files?

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by PerlFAQ Server, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq8.pod, which
    comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
    reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
    to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
    perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    8.11: How do I decode encrypted password files?

    You spend lots and lots of money on dedicated hardware, but this is
    bound to get you talked about.

    Seriously, you can't if they are Unix password files--the Unix password
    system employs one-way encryption. It's more like hashing than
    encryption. The best you can do is check whether something else hashes
    to the same string. You can't turn a hash back into the original string.
    Programs like Crack can forcibly (and intelligently) try to guess
    passwords, but don't (can't) guarantee quick success.

    If you're worried about users selecting bad passwords, you should
    proactively check when they try to change their password (by modifying
    passwd(1), for example).



    --------------------------------------------------------------------

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    corrections. The perlfaq-workers also don't have access to every
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    If you'd like to help maintain the perlfaq, see the details in
    perlfaq.pod.
    PerlFAQ Server, Mar 2, 2011
    #1
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