Synchronet v3.19b-Win32 (install) has been released (Jan-2022).

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Access Control

Synchronet Access Control

Introduction

This topic covers a wide range of methods and instructions on how a Synchronet sysop can enable or restrict access to their BBS.

Host Filtering

Specific TCP/IP hosts (computers) or ranges of hosts can be restricted from accessing your Synchronet servers through the use of various filter files. Filter files may also be used to restrict specific words from being used in user-generated content (message subjects, user names, aliases, etc.).

Restricting New User Creation

The sysop can disallow remote users from creating new user accounts by setting SCFG->System->Toggle Options->Closed To New Users to “Yes”.

The sysop can restrict users from creating new user accounts to only those that know a semi-secret New User Password (NUP), by setting SCFG->System->New User Password.

Access Controls

Synchronet user accounts each have the following security/access control settings which the sysop may use to enable or restrict the user's access to specific features of functions of the BBS:

  • Level: a value (a.k.a. security level) between 0 and 99, with level 90-99 being reserved for operators of the system (sysops/co-sysops)
  • Flags: 4 sets of 26 sysop-defineable toggle flags (A-Z) which allow for customized access control
  • Exemptions: 26 flags (A-Z) which have pre-defined functions to exempt the user from specific limitations
  • Restrictions: 26 flags (A-Z) which have pre-defined functions to restrict the user from using specific features/functions
  • Expiration: a date a which time the user account will be automatically deleted (regardless of inactivity)
  • Credits: a balance of credit which the user can deposit into (e.g. by uploading files) or withdraw from (e.g. by downloading files)
  • Minutes: a balance of time which the user can use to go beyond their normally limited time per/call or per/day (a.k.a. time bank)

New User Values

The sysop determines which access control values will be assigned to newly created user accounts in SCFG->System->New User Values:

╔══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
║                      New User Values                     ║
╠══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╣
║ │Level                      50                           ║
║ │Flag Set #1                                             ║
║ │Flag Set #2                                             ║
║ │Flag Set #3                                             ║
║ │Flag Set #4                                             ║
║ │Exemptions                                              ║
║ │Restrictions                                            ║
║ │Expiration Days            0                            ║
║ │Credits                    10,485,760                   ║
║ │Minutes                    0                            ║
║ │Editor                     FSEDITOR                     ║
║ │Command Shell              DEFAULT                      ║
║ │Download Protocol          None                         ║
║ │Default Toggles...                                      ║
║ │Question Toggles...                                     ║
╚══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝

In the above example, newly created user accounts will have:

Access Requirements

The sysop can specify combinations of access controls (e.g. security level, flags) and user values (e.g. gender, age, etc.) in SCFG (mostly under the options named “Access Requirements”) to control access to specific areas or functions of the BBS and restrict to specific groups of users.

See Access Requirements for more details.

Creating and Editing User Accounts

There are multiple methods available for creating and editing user accounts:

  • By calling or connecting to the BBS and selecting “New” at the Login prompt
  • makeuser module (user creation only)
  • makeguest module (Guest account creation only)
  • uedit TUI user editor
  • useredit GUI user editor
  • gtkuseredit GUI user editor (*nix)
  • “UEDIT” sysop command, available while logged-in to the Terminal server as an operator of the system (sysop)
    • e.g. ;uedit command from the main menu of the default command shell

Sysop

The first user account created when connected to the Terminal server will automatically be given Sysop-level access (i.e., Security level 90, all flags and all exemptions).

For this reason, the System Password is prompted for (with the SY: prompt) during the first new user creation process.

The sysop account is traditionally the first user record in the database (i.e., user #1). This user account should not have the alias of “Sysop” - use your real name or a handle instead. Synchronet automatically treats the alias of Sysop specially and forwards any mail received for “Sysop” to user #1.

Guest

Some sysops will want to have a Guest user account on their BBS. Guest accounts can be used to allow:

  • Inspection of basic BBS content without creating a user account
  • Anonymous FTP access

Guest Account Creation

When a sysop with Security Level 99 logs into the Terminal server, they will be asked to create a Guest account if the following conditions are met:

  • Sysop's Security Level is 99
  • Guest user does not already exist
  • Sysop has not already been asked and said No and to not be asked again

If the sysop answers Yes, the makeguest JavaScript module will be executed to create the Guest account with the recommended access controls:

If you answered No to both the “create Guest?” and “Ask again later?” prompts, you will need to run the makeguest.js module manually if you wish to create a Guest account.

See Also


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