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Enhanced password security for local usernames

Cisco IOS long had the ability to define local users that could be used to authenticate incoming telnet sessions or dial-up connections (using PAP or CHAP). Until IOS release 12.3, the passwords assigned to local usernames were encrypted using the weak (type 7) reversible encryption. With crack tools widely available on the Internet, there's obviously almost no protection offered by this encryption type.

With IOS release 12.3, Cisco introduced enhanced password security and the new username user secret password command which uses strong (type 5) encryption, making local user passwords secure. Of course, such usernames cannot be used in scenarios where you need access to cleartext password (for example, CHAP authentication).

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