using cookie to authenticate ... ???

Hi, I was assigned a task to design user authentication on our web site.  The brief explaination of this authentication is as following.

1. everytime a user want to access our web site should provide their legal user name and password.

2. the administrator can manage the user-name-password database, such as adding a user, delete a user, change the user priority ...

I have read some stuff.  And it seems like cookie can do user authentication.  but I don't know how to do it exactly.  I hope we can use C to implement so that we can seamlessly integrate with our other program like cgi bins.  Do you have any idea about that?  Or do you know where on the web I can find some more info. about cookie authentication?  Thank you for your time.

Gang
feng042497Asked:
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icdCommented:
Cookies are not reliable in that many people either don't have browsers that support them, or they do and they have turned cookies off. There is a bit of a backlash against cookies due to some sites using them to track users and obtain information about them.

If your server is UNIX then consider the .htaccess method which is not so dependent upon the type of browser.

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feng042497Author Commented:
Hi, thank you for your help.  I know .htaccess is another solution to this problem.  But it is very hard to do user management, isn't it?
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icdCommented:
There are cgi scripts that allow you to do user management from the web. So long as these scripts are themselves in a secured directory then it should be secure enough for your purposes.

A good resource to look at for several scripts is:-

http://www.cgi-resources.com/Programs_and_Scripts/Perl/Password_Protection/

There are several here that use .htaccess and you may even find one that uses cookies.
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