Subject: Re: PAM stinks.
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: James Chacon <email@example.com>
Date: 10/01/2001 14:03:08
>> Something like ssh authentication or POP3-over-SSL is hard to
>> sledgehammer into the PAM framework. You end up with even more
>> special cases in programs like netatalk and Samba that require weird
>> proprietary non-Unix authentication schemes to work optimally. Do I
>> want to:
>> a) send passwords in-the-clear over the network?, or
>> b) open up my Unix box to all the authentication bugs and back-doors
>> in NTAS?
>> uu-uh. uuh. uhhhuhuh. Doesn't PAM just make everything secure by
>> centralizing it?
>Ha ha.. yea. So one bug in PAM means my whole system of software gets
>compromised. And the code is so messy I wouldn't very easily fix the bug
>myself. wu-ftpd? Patch it myself. telnetd? Patch it myself. PAM? my god,
>the Lovecraftian portrayals that Sam Neill does on occasion would clap
>their hands in glee to see me deal with that piece of junk.
>But, who knows? Maybe it's changed since then. Maybe the routines aren't
>so convoluted.. maybe the modern PAM is a friendly place with butterflies
>and dandelion seeds floating on lazy fall breezes...
>Anyway.. that's my opinion. A fundamental flaw is easier to fix in a
>centralized system, but I'd still prefer the old-fashioned way until PAM
>gets its act together.
Everything you've described though is problems with an implementation, not
specificly with the protocol/API. Using a bad linux implementation as the
showcase for why someone shouldn't use a specific API would mean a lot of
different API's should be discarded due to bad/hacked up linux