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The most common form of authentication used for multi-user computer systems is passwords. Passwords have so many problems associated with them that they can no longer be recommended as a reliable method of authentication for users. The biggest problems are:

Passwords can still be a strong component of user authentication, but they are best when combined with another method such as an intelligent token or biometric authentication technique. For information on intelligent managment as password usage policies, see [1].
Kevin S. McCurley
Sat Mar 11 16:00:15 MST 1995