System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)

NIS+ Security Levels

NIS+ servers operate at one of two security levels. These levels determine the type of credential principals that must submit for their requests to be authenticated. NIS+ is designed to run at the most secure level, which is security level 2. Level 0 is provided only for testing, setup, and debugging purposes. These security levels are summarized in Table 11–1.

Table 11–1 List of NIS+ Security Levels

Security Level 


Security level 0 is designed for testing and setting up the initial NIS+ namespace. An NIS+ server running at security level 0 grants any NIS+ principal full access rights to all NIS+ objects in the domain. Level 0 is for setup purposes only and should only be used by administrators for that purpose. Level 0 should not be used on networks in normal operation by regular users. 

Security level 1 uses AUTH_SYS security. This level is not supported by NIS+ and should not be used. 

Security level 2 is the default. It is the highest level of security currently provided by NIS+. It authenticates only requests that use DES credentials. Requests with no credentials are assigned to the nobody class and have whatever access rights that have been granted to that class. Requests that use invalid DES credentials are retried. After repeated failure to obtain a valid DES credential, requests with invalid credentials fail with an authentication error. (A credential might be invalid for a variety of reasons such as the principal making the request is not keylogged in on that machine, the clocks are out of synch, there is a key mismatch, and so forth.)