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HTTP Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication (RFC2617)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003204D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Document File: 34 page(s) / 47K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J. Franks: AUTHOR [+6]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC2617: DOI

Abstract

This document provides the specification for HTTP's authentication framework, the original Basic authentication scheme and a scheme based on cryptographic hashes, referred to as "Digest Access Authentication". [STANDARDS-TRACK]

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 6% of the total text.

Network Working Group J. Franks Request for Comments: 2617 Northwestern University Obsoletes: 2069 P. Hallam-Baker Category: Standards Track Verisign, Inc. J. Hostetler AbiSource, Inc. S. Lawrence Agranat Systems, Inc. P. Leach Microsoft Corporation A. Luotonen Netscape Communications Corporation L. Stewart Open Market, Inc. June 1999

HTTP Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication

Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999). All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

"HTTP/1.0", includes the specification for a Basic Access Authentication scheme. This scheme is not considered to be a secure method of user authentication (unless used in conjunction with some external secure system such as SSL [5]), as the user name and password are passed over the network as cleartext.

This document also provides the specification for HTTP’s authentication framework, the original Basic authentication scheme and a scheme based on cryptographic hashes, referred to as "Digest Access Authentication". It is therefore also intended to serve as a replacement for RFC 2069 [6]. Some optional elements specified by RFC 2069 have been removed from this specification due to problems found since its publication; other new elements have been added for compatibility, those new elements have been made optional, but are strongly recommended.

Franks, et al. Standards Track [Page 1]

RFC 2617 HTTP Authentication June 1999

Like Basic, Digest access authentication verifies that both parties to a communication know a shared secret (a password); unlike Basic, this verification can be done without sending the password in the clear, which is Basic’s biggest weakness. As with most other authentication protocols, the greatest sources of risks are usually found not in the core protocol itself but in policies and procedures surrounding its use.

Table of Contents

1 Access Authentication................................ 3 1.1 Reliance on the HTTP/1.1 Specification............ 3 1.2 Access Authentication Framework................... 3 2 Basic Authentication Scheme.......................... 5 3 Digest Access Authentication Scheme.................. 6 3.1 Introduction...................................... 6 3.1.1 Purpose......................................... 6 3.1.2 Overall Operation............................... 6 3.1.3 Representation of digest values................. 7 3.1.4 Limitations..................................... 7 3.2 Specification of Digest Headers................... 7 3.2.1 The WWW-Authenticate Response Header............ 8 3.2.2 The Authorization Request Header................ 11 3.2.3 The Authentication-Info Head...

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