[Tutor] python + http authentication (with cherrypy)

James jtp at nc.rr.com
Tue Jul 8 03:10:57 CEST 2008

Hi All,

I'm writing a web application in CherryPy. What a beautiful thing it
is to write Python code and get a simple yet powerful web output. :)

The web application needs to have some decent level of security and
authentication implemented.

The big issue here is that the user password is stored in a database
and algorithmically calculated as follows:
md5( md5( $password ) + salt ) )

The salt is also stored in the database (which I have full access to).
I can easily use the md5 library to compare what a user gives me and
see if that's the correct password (based on the salt and the stored
password in the database). I'm unsure, however, how to go about
implementing security into my web application.

CherryPy obviously has a 'session' library in it. But in the periods
of time I've researched writing web applications in the past
(primarily when dealing with PHP), there was always great debate in
how to write a "good" secure web application. (i.e., it becomes tricky
when determining what precisely you should be passing around in terms
of session variables).

Thoughts? Am I going about this the wrong way? It would be much easier
to use either digest or basic http authentication mechanisms, but I
don't think that this is possible because of the fact that the
password is double-hashed in the database (or am I wrong?).

Any help appreciated. :o)


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