User password management

6.3. User password management#

Passwords which are difficult to guess and regular password changes are an essential element of the system security of a UCS domain. The following properties can be configured for users using a password policy.

If Samba is used, the settings of the Samba domain object (see Password settings for Windows clients when using Samba) apply for logins to Window clients. The settings of the Samba domain object and the policy should be set identically, otherwise different password requirements will apply for logins to Windows and UCS systems.

The password is saved in different attributes for every user saved in the management system:

  • The krb5Key attribute stores the Kerberos password.

  • The userPassword attribute stores the Unix password (in other Linux distributions present in /etc/shadow).

  • The sambaNTPassword attribute stores the NT password hash used by Samba.

Password changes are always initiated via Kerberos, either in the UCS PAM configuration or via Samba.

Configuring a password policy

Fig. 6.6 Configuring a password policy#

History length

The history length saves the last password hashes. These passwords can then not be used by the user as a new password when setting a new password. With a password history length of five, for example, five new passwords must be set before a password can be reused. If no password history check should be performed, the value must be set to 0.

The passwords are not stored retroactively. Example: If ten passwords were stored, and the value is reduced to three, the oldest seven passwords will be deleted during the next password change. If then the value is increased again, the number of stored passwords initially remains at three, and is only increased by each password change.

Password length

The password length is the minimum length in characters that a user password must comply with. If no value is entered here, the minimum size is eight characters. The default value of eight characters for password length is fixed, so it always applies if no policy is set and the Override password check checkbox is not ticked. This means it even applies if the default-settings password policy has been deleted.

If no password length check should be performed, the value must be set to 0.

A per server default can be configured via Univention Configuration Registry Variable password/quality/length/min, which applies to users that are not subject to a UDM password policy. See the Univention Configuration Registry Variable description for details.

Password expiry interval

A password expiry interval demands regular password changes. A password change is demanded during login to UCS web interfaces, to Kerberos, on Windows clients and on UCS systems following expiry of the period in days. The remaining validity of the password is displayed in the user management under Password expiry date in the Account tab. If this input field is left blank, no password expiry interval is applied.

Password quality check

If the option Password quality check is activated, additional checks - including dictionary checks - are performed for password changes in Samba, UCS web interfaces and Kerberos.

The configuration is done via Univention Configuration Registry and should occur on all login servers. The following checks can be enforced: