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Changing REMOTE_USER with a CGI rather than closing the browser

Posted on 1998-06-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
If I've already authenticated at a website with a username:password pair, how do I write a CGI that, when invoked, will reset the value of $REMOTE_USER, and challenge me again for my username:password pair. I want to be able to log in as a different user at this point.

I know I can close my browser and $REMOTE_USER will reset, but I'd like to avoid that pain.
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Question by:cjb061398
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julio011597 earned 100 total points
ID: 1829779
Indeed, the web server does keep asking for name:passwd... it is the *intelligent* browser which sends them behind the scenes. Anyway, you can bypass this browser's automatic mechanisms by providing the pair as part of the location url.

Say the new pair is "cjb:mypwd", and the page to access is "http://my.host.com". Then you can force the new pair to be sent by putting this url into the location field:

http://cjb:mypwd@my.host.com

This is, in fact, the same mechanism you would use to access password protected ftp sites.

Regards, julio
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by:alamo
ID: 1829780
In many cases a better way might be "http://cjb@my.host.com" instead, leaving out the password. The dialog will pop up and ask you.

The advantage of this is that this way your password won't be included in your browser history or any bookmarks you make. I am not sure if your password shows up in the REFERER field also, when you click on an external link, it might, I've never checked.

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by:julio011597
ID: 1829781
Yes, right. About REFERER, i'm not sure either, but shouldn't be the case... anyway, to be tried.

cjb, still around?

-julio
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Expert Comment

by:alamo
ID: 1829782
I just checked, name:pw@ does indeed show up in the REFERER. I tested with Netscape 4.04. So be careful...

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