Plain Text Passwords in Unicode?

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Wed Jul 6 00:02:46 GMT 2005

On Tue, Jul 05, 2005 at 07:43:15PM -0400, Michael B Allen wrote:
> Usually negotiating plaintext passwords and Unicode are mutually exclusive
> so I'm not sure what the right behavior is but apparently Samba (3.0.14a
> at least) doesn't like the plaintext password in Unicode. Is that the
> right bahavior? I cannot easily modify the security policy on my XP
> workstation so theres no way to check at the moment.
> Anyone know off-hand if the plaintext password should be "ASCII" even if
> Unicode is negotiated?

I responded to the original posting on the jCIFS list.  I cover this (a 
bit) in my book.

The answer is that Windows doesn't have settings (as far as I can tell)  
that permit the combination of plaintext and Unicode.  Neither in client
mode nor in server mode.

Samba, however, does.

You can use smbclient to do a plaintext Unicode login to a Samba server,
if both are configured the same way.  There are some quirks, though.  The
formatting of the strings doesn't always make sense.  I have some captures

My guess is that support for plaintext Unicode passwords in Samba was a
bit of an accident.

Chris -)-----

"Implementing CIFS - the Common Internet FileSystem" ISBN: 013047116X
Samba Team --     -)-----   Christopher R. Hertel
jCIFS Team --   -)-----   ubiqx development, uninq.
ubiqx Team --     -)-----   crh at
OnLineBook --    -)-----   crh at

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