Authentication is a mechanism that identifies a user or service based on predefined criteria. Authentication systems range from simple name-password pairs to more elaborate challenge-response systems, such as smart cards and biometrics. Strong authentication mechanisms rely on a user supplying information that only that person knows, such as a user name, and something that can be verified, such as a smart card or fingerprint. The Solaris operating environment features for authentication include the following:
Secure RPC – An authentication technique that is based on the Diffie-Hellman method. This topic is covered in Overview of Secure RPC.
Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) – A framework that enables various authentication technologies to be plugged in without disturbing system entry services, such as login or ftp. See Chapter 4, Using PAM.
Sun Enterprise Authentication Module (SEAM) – A client/server architecture that provides authentication with encryption. See Chapter 7, Introduction to SEAM.
Smart Card – A plastic card with a microprocessor and memory that can be used with a card reader to access systems. See Solaris Smartcard Administration Guide.
Login Administration Tools – Various commands for administering a user's ability to log in or to abort a session. See Chapter 17, Securing Machines (Tasks).