Remote Passphrase Authentication Part One: Extended Introduction

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Gary Brown 
Last updated 1996-11-15
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Remote Passphrase Authentication provides a way to authenticate a user to a service by using a pass phrase over an insecure network, without revealing the pass phrase to eavesdroppers. In addition, the service need not know and does not learn the user's pass phrase, making this scheme useful in distributed environments where it would be difficult or inappropriate to trust a service with a pass phrase database or to allow the server to learn enough to masquerade as the user in a future authentication attempt. This draft is part one of a four part series and contains an extended introduction to the problem and potential solutions to the problem. It is optional reading for those already familiar with the general issues of authentication over insecure networks. Part two (draft-petke-mech-00.txt) explains the RPA mechanism. Part three (draft-petke-http-auth-scheme-00.txt) explains how to incorporate the mechanism into HTTP. Part four (draft-petke-serv-deity-protocol-00.txt) explains the protocol between the service and deity. This scheme was inspired by Dave Raggett's Mediated Digest Authentication paper.


Gary Brown (

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