RE: [fw-wiz] Sourceforge sending out passwords in the clear (forwarded message from Barry A. Warsaw)

From: Barry A. Warsaw (
Date: 08/05/02

To: "Paul D. Robertson" <>
From: (Barry A. Warsaw)
Date: Mon Aug  5 10:14:31 2002

>>>>> "PDR" == Paul D Robertson <> writes:

    PDR> If the Web or mail command allows a password fetch, wouldn't
    PDR> a link to the password fetching page be better than sending
    PDR> the actual password?

Perhaps. It's an interesting idea. Just remember that every extra
step that people need to take to do whatever it is they want to do
increases your administrative costs. So again, it's a trade-off, but
perhaps a useful one. It would be doable in MM2.1.
    PDR> Is the decision already set, or can we grumble about it
    PDR> somewhere easy (like the Wiki at perhaps?) is the best forum.

    PDR> By default, "newlist" mails the list admin their list's
    PDR> password in every version of mailman I've run- and I just
    PDR> installed the latest version on a test box to confirm it,
    PDR> here's a snippet of the output:

You're right, I forgot to mention that. newlist (and the MM2.1 web
equivalent) can send out the plaintext list admin password because it
has it right there -- it's the only place that has access to that
password before it's scrambled and stored since the list is being
created right there. But there is never a `reminder' of the list
admin password.

In a sense, /some/ entity has to inform the list owner of the intial
password because the person creating the list is often not the person
who will be admin'ing the list. If you want to use alternative
channels, simply use "bin/newlist -q" or (in MM2.1) turn of the
"notify the list owner now" button in the web form.

> come from folks who want to unsubscribe. The next version will use
> mailback confirmations for unsubscription requests, so most users will
> likely never even need their passwords.

    PDR> Add the ability to eaily add an unsubscribe link to the top
    PDR> of the list page, and you'll have me owing you beers.

Do you mean the listinfo page? More than what's there? The problem
here of course is that members don't just forget their passwords, they
also forget what address they're subscribed with. ;) So an individual
unsub link on a generic web page is problematic.

Note though that MM2.1 will support various forms of personalization
of list postings. While it increases the load on your system and
network, it may be appropriate for some lists and sites. Then, each
member can be given a footer containing the url to their personal
login page, which has a big unsub button on it.

    PDR> Getting back to my original discussion with Anton- would you
    PDR> accept patches in this area if someone wanted to have Mailman
    PDR> "do the right thing" out of the box with passwords, or is it
    PDR> pretty much "should be this high to admin Mailman?"

DEFAULT_SEND_REMINDERS = 0 in your file.

    PDR> Thanks for your response,

No problem.