Polythene PAM ain't what she used to be...

WhoMartin Schwenke
WhereAUUG 2002 - Measure, Monitor, Control, Melbourne
WhenSeptember 2002

This paper discusses the author's recent experiences with Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) under Linux, although most of the discussion applies to other PAM-enabled operating systems. Attempts to mix users defined in local files with users defined in an LDAP directory, and implement a defensive system administration policy, did not entirely succeed. The discussion covers the Name Service Switch (NSS) (and associated libc functionality), PAM, LDAP and user credentials, and concludes that some major changes are necessary to provide an authentication and credentials system that is reliable enough for mission critical systems.

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