The Java EE 5 Tutorial

Digest Authentication

Like HTTP basic authentication, HTTP Digest Authentication authenticates a user based on a user name and a password. However, the authentication is performed by transmitting the password in an encrypted form which is much more secure than the simple Base64 encoding used by basic authentication. Digest authentication is not currently in widespread use, and is not implemented in the Application Server, therefore, there is no further discussion of it in this document.