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PAP (Password Authentication Protocol)

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PAP is an authentication protocol that requires users to enter a password before accessing a secure system. The user's name and password are sent over the wire to a server, where they are compared with a database of user account names and passwords. This technique is vulnerable to wiretapping (sniffing) because the password can be captured and used by someone to log on to the system.

PAP is not recommended in most cases. However, some authentication systems will fall back to PAP if no better authentication scheme is available. CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol) is an alternative protocol that avoids sending passwords in any form over the wire by using a challenge/response technique, as described under "CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol)."

For additional information, refer to RFC 1994 (PPP Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocols, August 1996).

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