Document: FSC-0055 Version: 001 Revision: 31-Mar-1991 Security Passwords in Nodelist Update Files Luke Kolin, 1:firstname.lastname@example.org, 89:480/210@imex March 31st, 1991 Status of this document: This FSC suggests a proposed protocol for the FidoNet(r) community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Distribution of this document is subject to the restrictions listed below. Fido and FidoNet are registered marks of Tom Jennings and Fido Software. The author grants the FTSC unlimited distribution and reproduction rights in order to facilitate discussion of the proposals in this document. MakeNL is a program by Ben Baker. SysNL is a program by Luke Kolin. PURPOSE This document is intended to explain the format and purpose of security passwords within nodelist update files, and to inform the authors of nodelist software about its proper usage. THE NEED FOR PASSWORDS Until now, the nodelist update files that *Cs create with software packages such as MakeNL or SysNL have had no security passwords inside of them. The only security between the NC and an RC has been the name of the update file itself. For example, the name of the Net 250 update file was "Metronet.250". It was quite conceivable for a sysop, upon discovering this name, to make a fraudulent update file, also called "MetroNet.250", and send this to 1:12/0. The nodelist processor which created the regional update file at that end would not know that the file was not genuine, and this would be added to the weekly update for the region. PASSWORD FORMAT It seems emminently logical that some sort of security password should be added to nodelist update files, to prevent the aforementioned problems from occurring. Therefore, I propose that nodelist update files have an optional password in the first (header) line, right after the ";A" general interest flag. The first character of this case-sensitive password shall be an "at" sign @ (ASCII decimal 64 hex 40). If this character is present, then all characters after it, until (but not including) the next space (ASCII decimal 32 hex 20) will be considered part of the password. As well, no password may be 8 characters or more in length. This is a sample header line, with a password of ConSoft present: ;A @ConSoft Net 250 nodelist file for Friday, February 22nd : 10344 Please note the password starts right after the first space (ASCII 32) with the ASCII 64 decimal character, and is case-sensitive. The following is a sample header, without a password present: ;A Net 250 nodelist file for Friday, March 1st : 13501 NOTES It is extremely important that the password be on the first line of the nodelist update file. It must commence immediately after the first space (ASCII 32) character, with an ASCII 64 "at" sign. Remember, it is case-sensitive. I believe that it is up to the authors of individual nodelist utilities to deal with the presence of passworded update files as they believe fit. However, it is my belief that utilities, when faced with a file with a bad password, retain a copy of a previous (good) update file, which should be used instead of the bad one, to prevent the equally nasty problem of a bad update file preventing an entire network/region from being included. Please note that I do not participate in either the FTSC or NET_DEV conferences. I can be reached at 1:email@example.com, or in Imex at 89:480/210@imex.