Syntax: AuthAuthoritative on|off
Default: AuthAuthoritative on
Context: directory, .htaccess
Setting the AuthAuthoritative directive explicitly to 'off' allows for both authentication and authorization to be passed on to lower level modules (as defined in the Configuration and modules.c files) if there is no userID or rule matching the supplied userID. If there is a userID and/or rule specified; the usual password and access checks will be applied and a failure will give an Authorization Required reply.
So if a userID appears in the database of more than one module; or if a valid Require directive applies to more than one module; then the first module will verify the credentials; and no access is passed on; regardless of the AuthAuthoritative setting.
A common use for this is in conjunction with one of the database modules; such as mod_auth_db.c, mod_auth_dbm.c, mod_auth_msql.c, and mod_auth_anon.c. These modules supply the bulk of the user credential checking; but a few (administrator) related accesses fall through to a lower level with a well protected AuthUserFile.
Default: By default; control is not passed on; and an unknown userID or rule will result in an Authorization Required reply. Not setting it thus keeps the system secure; and forces an NCSA compliant behavior.
Security: Do consider the implications of allowing a user to allow fall-through in his .htaccess file; and verify that this is really what you want; Generally it is easier to just secure a single .htpasswd file, than it is to secure a database such as mSQL. Make sure that the AuthUserFile is stored outside the document tree of the web-server; do not put it in the directory that it protects. Otherwise, clients will be able to download the AuthUserFile.
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