>I have been watching and reading the list for a couple of weeks and
>observed some discussion on the "ident service". Is this the same thing
>as the "Authentication Service" that uses port 113? I've not been able
>to get a clear understanding of the use of port 113 to know whether to
>allow it across the firewall. (When in doubt I shut it out much to the
>chagrin of some users.)
The name 'authentication' is a mis-nomer, in my opinion, for the function
of port 113. It is really more of an identification service than an
authentication service. Some people say it has no use at all, but I disagree.
It is useful to have on your machines as a service to the network community
in order to help identify local users who may be up to no good. Yes, it
can be easy to spoof (very easy), but the data it provides, in combination
with other data correlating an event, can be useful. A site should never
rely solely on ident for the identification of a user, by itself.
Also, I think the fact that ident provides information about users that
may be helpful to hackers has been exagerrated. You can easily configure
ident to only provide the numeric ID number of the account, rather than
the username. This is useful for the site providing ident, but of rather
little use to anybody else.
Doug Hughes Engineering Network Services
System/Net Admin Auburn University