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PHP 5 Unleashed by John Coggeshall

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Chapter 11. User Authentication

When the World Wide Web emerged in the early 1990s, security was not much of a concern. All information was freely available, and everybody could access each Web application—as long as the URL was known. Nowadays, however, this has fundamentally changed. More free services on the Web vanish each day, and more applications are available only for registered (and paying) users.

However, there is also a good side. Internet access is available almost everywhere, so even if you are abroad, chances are that you can get online easily, accessing personal information via the WWW.

In both cases, the information must be secured; access must be granted only to authenticated ...

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