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By default, Solaris uses Traditional DES to encrypt password hashes in the shadow file.

Is there a way to harden the security by changing this default behaviour and make it to be hashed using a stronger algorithm?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can choose the algorithm used between one of these (older Solaris releases might not have all of them available):

  • Traditional Unix crypt
  • BSD/Linux compatible md5
  • Blowfish
  • SHA256
  • SHA512

To change the algorithms accepted for existing passwords and used for new ones, modify the CRYPT_ALGORITHMS_ALLOW and CRYPT_DEFAULT variables in /etc/security/policy.conf file.

This is based on plugins so should you want custom encryption methods, you can install third party ones or develop your own.

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I assume the SHA and BSD/Linux compatible MD5 algorithms are also used in a UNIX crypt() fashion? So they don't just hash, but also salt and stretch? – chris Nov 20 '11 at 12:30
I would say they do it from reading the source code:… – jlliagre Nov 20 '11 at 22:00 is a blog post from one of the co-authors of the Solaris enhanced crypt() (as well as the classic Crack password cracker) with more implementation details. – alanc Aug 19 '12 at 1:36

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