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FSC-0005

The Opus Computer-Based Conversation System

(c) Copyright 1987, Wynn Wagner III, All Rights Reserved






















OPUS-CBCS

Matrix Password Methods










MATRIX PASSWORDS USED BY OPUS
-----------------------------


Opus uses two kinds of passwords for matrix sessions:

SESSION LEVEL access code is roughly the same sort
of thing as a user's password. It is
passed from one system to another during
the session negotiation sequence (aka
YooHoo) and is in effect for the entire
matrix session.

TRANSACTION LEVEL passwords are valid only for WaZOO
"ZedZap" style file requests. They are a
way to protect requestable material on a
file-by-file basis.



MATRIX PASSWORDS USED BY OTHER SYSTEMS
------------------------------------------

It is possible that Opus will be sensitive to passwords produced
by other netmail software. Because other password methods have
not been documented or their behavior publicly explained, the
compatibility between Opus and non-WaZOO systems isn't assured.

Apparently the behavior of some other methods involves protection
against unauthorized "pickup" of material that is on hold. You
can make a case that Opus does this as well. Opus uses a true
session-level protection scheme. Unauthorized pickup is avoided
in that the remote system will find itself without a carrier.

Within a couple of days of the scheduled release of Opus 1.00,
we discovered a change in the implementation of some "bark" style
file request programs. The change was made to the method of
exchange the name of the file being requested and apparently
offers some kind of transaction-level password. There was no
attempt to include this change in Opus 1.00.




PASSWORDS
---------

A password consists of 4 to 6 characters or numbers and is
case insensitive. The password cannot contain white space,
control codes, or punctuation (except an underscore).

Valid characters for passwords are

"a".."z", "A".."Z", "0".."9", "_"








SETTING UP A SESSION LEVEL PROTECTION SYSTEM
--------------------------------------------


UPFRONT
-------

Both sides of a password protected session use the same access
code. My system's password on your system is your password on
my system.



OPUSNODE
--------

The OPUSnode program (by Wes Cowley) has facilities for dealing
with Opus-compatible passwords beginning with version 1.4.4.



STORING PASSWORDS
-----------------

This is fairly technical information about the storage of
matrix passwords.

There are plans to change the structure of the node list file
(NODELIST.SYS), and the new structure has room for a 6-character
password. That's in the future. For the present, we have to have
some place to store the password.

This kludge is about as temporary as they come. The correct way to
handle passwords is to have a structure that can handle them. The
current node list structure has no such field. It does, however,
have an extra-ordinarily amount of space to hold the CITY.

The CITY in the NodeList.Sys file is 40 characters. If you want to
put a session level password in the node list file, you can do so.

NORMAL CITY: ccccccccccccccccccnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

PASSWORDED CITY: ccccccccccccccccccn!ppppppnnnnnnn

c = city information
n = null (ascii zero)
! = exclamation point (or "=")
p = password information

In other words, to put a password into the node list CITY record,
follow the city with a null and an exclamation point and a
null-terminated password.

An equals sign can appear instead of an exclamation point. This
has a special meaning to ECHO GUARD (see below).




METHOD
------

The session level password is used during the YooHoo negotiation.
If there is a problem, Opus will drop carrier on the caller and
make a "*" type log entry.

As a confidence factor, successful passwords will be logged with
a tracer ("#") style entry.









SETTING UP A TRANSACTION LEVEL PROTECTION SYSTEM
------------------------------------------------

Transaction level passwords only work with WaZOO "ZedZap"
style file requests.


ORIGINATING SYSTEM
------------------

The REQUESTING system puts the required transaction level
access code into its REQ file.

EXAMPLE: NEATFILE.ARC !mypass_x



SYSTEM WITH REQUESTED FILES
---------------------------

The REQUESTED system has passwords in its `OkFile.'

EXAMPLE: c:\files\neat*.arc !mypass_x

NOTE: Password protected files will not be
available to non-WaZOO file requesters.
There is no known method for having an
access code in the "BARK" style file
request, so Opus just pretends it doesn't
have the file available if such a request
comes in.






ECHOGUARD
---------

IMPORTANT: As with the rest of Opus, there is no
guarantee that anything will work as
documented. Because EchoGuard is a
security feature, this fact needs to
be stressed...

THERE IS NO ASSURANCE THAT
ECHOGUARD WILL OFFER YOU ANY
KIND OF PROTECTION.



EchoGuard is a method to trap many attempts "unauthorized"
echomail attempts. There is an undocumented control file
switch for this:

ECHO Guard

If this switch is set, Opus will mark many unauthorized
messages so they won't be scanned and sent to other systems.
EchoGuard does NOT prevent the message(s) in an unauthorized
bundle from being tossed.

Opus assumes bundles from password-protected systems have
already passed the access code test. If it finds a "=" instead
of a "!" in the NodeList.Sys file where the password would go,
it treats the packet as though it were approved. In other
words, you can use EchoGuard even though you exchange echomail
with some non-WaZOO systems. For the WaZOO systems, use a
"!" and password in NodeList.Sys.

For the non WaZOO systems, use a "=" character. The equals
sign tells the ECHO GUARD routine that the system in question
is not capable of handling session level passwords.

Unauthorized messages sent to echomail areas will be flagged
as "Sent" and "Orphan" to keep other scan programs from
sending them to anybody else.





###





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