Odp: AW: win2000 + unix

Steve Langasek vorlon at netexpress.net
Thu Sep 28 19:17:24 GMT 2000

On Thu, 28 Sep 2000, Eric Pilger wrote:

> > Can you explain me then, where Samba stores plaintext passwords, when uses
> > encrypted passwords on the wire ?

> Plaintext passwords are not stored on the server. The passwords in smbpasswd
> are encrypted. You can't mix and match methods because the encryption is
> different from UNIX. Since there are no plain text passwords, you can't get
> from one to the other.

> I think I heard the complaint once that these encrypted passwords are as
> good(bad) as real passwords because they can be used just as they are. Unlike
> UNIX, which requires the plain text password, and then encrypts it, this
> mechanism requires the encrypted password, and then just uses it. Therefore,
> you really want to keep that smbpasswd file private. Am I getting this right?

That is correct.  From a security POV, the two problems with the way passwords
are stored in the private/smbpasswd file are that 1) the password hashes don't
have to be decrypted to be used for gaining access via SMB, and 2) even 
decrypting them is not difficult because the first hash in the smbpasswd
entry uses a legacy hashing mechanism which is not difficult to brute-force.

There are plenty of reasons to use 'encrypted passwords = yes' on your Samba
server, but security is not necessarily one of them.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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