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Solaris™ 8 Advanced System Administrator's Guide, Third Edition by Janice Winsor

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Diffie-Hellman Authentication

The Diffie-Hellman method of authenticating a user is nontrivial for an intruder to crack. The client and the server each have their own private key (sometimes called a secret key) which they use together with the public key to devise a common key. They use the common key to communicate with each other, with an agreed-upon encryption/decryption function such as DES. This method was identified as DES authentication in previous Solaris releases.

Authentication is based on the capability of the sending system to use the common key to encrypt the current time, which the receiving system can decrypt and check against its current time. Because Diffie-Hellman depends on the current times matching, the keyserver program ...

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