Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) is a password-based authentication protocol used by Point to Point Protocol (PPP) to validate users. Almost all network operating system remote servers support PAP. PAP is specified in RFC 1334.
PAP is considered a weak authentication scheme (weak schemes are simple and have lighter computational overhead but are much more vulnerable to attack; while weak schemes may have limited application in some constrained environments, they are avoided in general). Among PAP's deficiencies is the fact that it transmits unencrypted passwords over the network. PAP is therefore used only as a last resort when the remote server does not support a stronger scheme such as CHAP or EAP.
PAP authentication is only done at the time of the initial link establishment, and verifies the identity of the client using a two-way handshake.
- Client sends username and password. This is sent repeatedly until a response is received from the server.
- Server sends authentication-ack (if credentials are OK) or authentication-nak (otherwise)
|1 byte||1 byte||2 bytes||1 byte||Variable||1 byte||Variable|
|Authentication-request||Code = 1||ID||Length||Username length||Username||Password length||Password|
|Authentication-ack||Code = 2||ID||Length||Message length||Message|
|Authentication-nak||Code = 3||ID||Length||Message length||Message|
PAP packet embedded in a PPP frame. The protocol field has a value of C023 (hex).
|Flag||Address||Control||Protocol (C023 (hex))||Payload (table above)||FCS||Flag|
- SAP - Service Access Point
- Lloyd, Brian; Simpson, William Allen (October 1992). "Password Authentication Protocol". PPP Authentication Protocols. IETF. p. 2. doi:10.17487/RFC1334. RFC 1334. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1334#page-2. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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