Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.0 Developer's Guide

Calling Password Storage Scheme Plug-Ins

This section describes the circumstances in which Directory Server calls password storage scheme plug-ins. This section also describes how password values are expected to be handled by the plug-ins.

Types of Password Storage Scheme Plug-Ins

Two types of password storage scheme plug-ins work with Directory Server, pwdstoragescheme and reverpwdstoragescheme. The pwdstoragescheme type is one-way. After the server encodes and stores a password, the password is not decoded. The pwdstoragescheme type therefore includes plug-in functions only for encoding passwords to be stored and for comparing incoming passwords with encoded, stored passwords. The reverpwdstoragescheme type is reversible, in that the plug-in allows Directory Server to encode and decode values. The reversible type therefore includes encode, compare, and decode plug-in functions.

Note –

This chapter covers the one-way type pwdstoragescheme plug-ins.

The reversible type is for internal use only.

Preinstalled Schemes

Existing schemes delivered with Directory Server are provided as password storage scheme plug-ins. Search cn=config for entries whose DN contains cn=Password Storage Schemes. The default password storage scheme uses the Salted Secure Hashing Algorithm (SSHA).

You can change the password storage scheme used to encode user passwords. See Chapter 7, Directory Server Password Policy, in Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.0 Administration Guide for instructions.

Effect on Password Attribute Values

Password storage scheme plug-in functions act on userPassword attribute values. Directory Server registers password storage scheme plug-ins at startup. After startup, any registered, enabled password storage scheme plug-in can then be used to encode password values. The plug-ins can also be used to compare incoming passwords to the encoded values. Which plug-in Directory Server invokes depends on the password storage scheme that is used for the entry in question.

Invocation for Add and Modify Requests

Add and modify requests can imply that Directory Server encode an input password, and then store it in the directory. First, Directory Server determines the storage scheme for the password value. Next, it invokes the plug-in encode function for the appropriate scheme. The encode function returns the encoded password to Directory Server.

Invocation for Bind Requests

Bind requests imply that Directory Server compares an input password value to a stored password value. As for add and modify requests, Directory Server determines the storage scheme for the password value. Next, the server invokes the plug-in compare function for the appropriate scheme. The compare scheme returns an int that communicates to Directory Server whether the two passwords match as described in Comparing a Password.

Part of a Password Policy

Password storage scheme plug-ins typically do no more than encode passwords and compare input passwords with stored, encoded passwords. In other words, plug-ins represent only a part of a comprehensive password policy. Refer to the Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.0 Deployment Planning Guide for suggestions on designing secure directory services.