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How To Setup .HTACCESS

This page explains how to setup passwords using the .htaccess file. You can also interface your password files with your e-commerce provider. If your website is running under Windows IIS then you will require some expensive software (e.g. Flicks Software). If you are running on a Unix flavoured operating system then you can do it for free. Your e-commerce provider will automatically generate a new username and password and place it into your password file. Check with your e-commerce provider to determine if they provide this service.

Password Encryption - MD5 Overview:
All passwords in the password file are in MD5 hash format. You must use a password generator tool to create a password for the password file. The MD5 just takes the password that you enter and creates a hash key based upon an algorithm. You cannot reverse the hash key to obtain the original password. The purpose of MD5 is to allow various systems to check whether the password is valid without knowing the actual password. Every time you change passwords, you will have a new MD5 hash key. You must enter that key in the password file.

See PHP Authentication Schemes

See the following for password generator tools and documentation:

Zapper Software MD5 Password Generator

U-Net Password Generator


HTACCESS Generator

Basic Overview:
  1. Create a Password file (you must correctly encrypt the password)

    Call the file .htpasswd

  2. Upload the password file (.htpasswd) to a directory that is not accessible to web surfers. This is the AuthUserFile - change yourwebsite/safedirectory to the correct naming conventions and directory according to your ISP.
  3. Create a new directory to protect e.g. baseball
  4. Create HTACCESS file with the following (changes required):
    AuthUserFile /usr/local/yourwebsite/safedirectory/.htpasswd
    AuthGroupFile /dev/null
    AuthName EnterPassword
    AuthType Basic
    require user george

  5. Upload HTACCESS file to the directory .htaccess file to be placed in the directory to protect
  6. Upload BKEY.BAT and BKEY.HTML to the directory
  7. Test the directory by trying to access BKEY.HTML - see note about mixed case.

    NOTE: Keep everything in lowercase. BKEY.BAT should be bkey.bat and BKEY.HTML should be bkey.html. This is because some Unix flavoured sites can be case sensitive (like mine). Remember to tell your customers that the URLs and KEYS are all case-sensitive. You can change your site to be lower case only to avoid potential problems. This can serve as additional security when allowing mixed case.

    NOTE: Your e-commerce provider should be able to provide automatic updating of the .htaccess and .htpasswd files.
Here is another actual example that was originally generated using Front Page:

Service Password: This file is called service.pwd and resides in:

# -FrontPage-

Service Group:
This file is called service.grp and resides in:

# -FrontPage-
administrators: george
authors: mary
customers: ibm microsoft redhat

.htaccess File:
This file is call .htaccess and resides in the directory that you wish to protect. All subdirectories will be protected.

# -FrontPage-
Options None
<Limit GET POST>
order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from all
require group authors administrators customers
order deny,allow
deny from all
AuthType Basic

You can integrate all of this with MySQL or another database.
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