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Password shadowing is an enhancement in password security. It creates a file called /etc/shadow from the passwd file in /etc/. In the passwd file all the encrypted passwords are replaced by asterisks. Actual encrypted strings are moved into the shadow password file. The trick is that /etc/passwd is world readable, but /etc/shadow is not. It makes more difficult obtaining the /etc/shadow file, or doing anything with it.
William Colburn -- old precompiled binaries
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shadow support in linux conf
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Shadow Passwords -- slides from nasa.gov
The Linux NIS(YP)NYSNIS+ HOWTO Shadow Passwords with NIS and PAM -- Shadow passwords over NIS are always a bad idea. You lost the security, which shadow gives you. A good way to avoid shadow passwords over NIS is, to put only the local system users in /etc/shadow. Remove the NIS user entries from the shadow database, and put the password back in passwd. So you could use shadow for the root login, and normal passwd for NIS user. This has the advantage, that it will work with every NIS client.
the Shadow Password HOWTO
Shadow Utilities RedHat
- 11.5 Shadow Utilities Support for shadow
passwords has been enhanced significantly for Red Hat Linux 5.2.
Shadow passwords are a method of improving system security by
moving the encrypted passwords (normally found in /etc/passwd) to
Unix Shadow Passwords
When shadow files were first implemented some systems created or modified the system calls so they would return the encrytped password. This kept users from downloading the password file, but if you could make the system calls you could recreate the files yourself
shcrack.c cracks too
unshad.c tiny deshadow program
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