Decode/encode for .htpasswd (.htaccess) file

Posted on 1997-11-15
Last Modified: 2008-11-28

Anyone know how to encode/decode the passwords
in .htpasswd (Apache Webserver) file ?

A piece of code will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Question by:myr

Accepted Solution

alamo earned 200 total points
ID: 1441011
Apache's .htpasswd uses unix's "crypt" function. crypt is a "one way" encryption method used to encrypt passwords. There is an encode ONLY - no decode. In order to check that a password is correct, you have to encode the proposed password and compare the encrypted result with the encrypted password in the .httpd file. If the encrypted strings match, then the passwords match. The whole idea behind this sort of encryption is that you can't find out what the password is, you can only verify whether a proposed password is correct.

The zipfile at contains a windows DLL which implements the crypt function, as well as sample VB code (the VB code is very simple, "Text2.Text = crypt(Text1.Text)"). There is source for both the VB code and the DLL (DLL source is in C).

The complexity of the crypt algorithm (DES, basically) makes it impractical to implement in VB, though if you really wanted to you could certainly translate the C source to VB code. It would be slow, though.

If all you want to do is to to generate .htpasswd file entries, then you are all set with the zipfile I just mentioned. If you want to actively check passwords in VB, though, then it's not enough because with that DLL you can't specify the "salt". The "salt" is the 3-character string that is used to initialize the encryption. The encrypted password entries in the .htpasswd file include the correct salt as the first 3 characters - so to check a proposed password, you would get the first three characters from the encrypted password you want to check against, and use those as the salt so the encryption would come out the same. If you want to do this, then you can still use the .zipfile I gave you but will need to recompile the dll. The dll uses a fixed salt rather than one passed as an argument, it would be very easy to make the salt a passed argument as well.

I hope this will do the job for you, it's everything you need to know to do this except for decoding passwords (which as I said is impossible, except via dictionary attack). Please leave a comment if I have been unclear about anything... good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 1441012
Thank you very much Alamo!
I've donwloaded the DLL and have a try,
it's work just fine (I'm using VB5).


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