an image of some pajamas!


php and javascript advanced md5 authentication system

The connexion between "pajamas", which is an acronym for "php and javascript advanced md5 authentication system" and an actual pair of "Pyjamas" is that when you feel secure, you sleep better. Of course the words sound identical, too.

pajamas began as an attempt to create a more secure login using client-side hashing, which is one-way encryption, and as a demonstration, mainly for other web-coders, to two enormous security holes in all-too-common existence..

The first exists when folk use "public" browsers. Often the username and password are stored on the machine, and can be re-used, even by accident, by other members of the public. Clearly this presents a problem, and one which, for some reason, most people like to forget and/or ignore. Probably, like me, they realized it would need to be done with JavaScript, and then ran in the opposite direction.

The second hole is more obvious, and that is the plain text password travelling freely across the wires. This one has received more worldwide attention, but it's still ignored in most php web applications. There are literally hundreds of articles out there describing how to store a user's password using all manner of weird and wonderful algorithms, to protect it from "unauthorised database access", or "unauthorised server access", and yet still expecting the password to arrive in plain text. GUYS!

If your database isn't secure you are in trouble. Same for your filesystem. These are places over which you have control. The place where you certainly don't have control, ever, is the internet. And the moment that packet of data leaves the user's presumably safe environment it's fair game. Its contents could be stored on any one of the many nodes between server and client, dubious proxy "servers" could scan it, on poorly configured servers (most) passwords will show up on other server's referrer logs, etc. There it is, your plain-text password, travelling around the internet in a bundle of other useful plain text information, like the URL of the so-called secure login page, probably your username. No! This is insane!

pajamas takes an entirely different approach. The password is securely hashed before being sent over the wires. Now, not only is interception no longer a problem (it's impossible to retrieve the password from the hash in the given time-frame, even a very much longer time-frame), but public browsers can't save or cache it, either*, being a one-shot mish-mash of your password and some random generated string. Each time you login, it's completely different.

With pajamas, the only places the password ever exists in the clear are in your presumably secure server environment, and the presumably secure user's brain. This password is only protecting access to this server's content; ergo, breaching the web server breaches the user's "protected" data, anyway. To my reckoning, it would be considerably more difficult to compromise a modern web server and get root, than it is to search some log for the phrase "password".

Which strategy is best? You decide.

Since its birth back in 2004, pajamas spent quite a long time lying fairly dormant, yet working away quietly in the background as a highly useful authentication script. More recently, pajamas has grown into a rather neat modular authentication system, and the old "pj" module has essentially become one of its plug-ins. There's also a "plain" plugin that retains many of the good features of pj, but without the client-side hashing, for situations where JavaScript isn't available (On The Moon, maybe!). pj's client-side hashing is made possible with the excellent JavaScript functions provided by Paul Johnston's javascript MD5 code.

You can enjoy my wee "protected" image gallery, and try-out pajamas at the same time, here.
If you'd like to ask questions, give feedback, enlighten me, etc, you can do that at the bottom.

There is also a sha1 pajamas plug-in called "shaggie", which is currently available only inside my other packages (e.g. the distro machine), feel free to download and play around with it; get back to me if you find any issues, thanks.

Here's the current pajamas code..
(of course, most of the good stuff is inside the modules!)
<?php // ۞// text { encoding:utf-8 ; bom:no ; linebreaks:unix ; tabs:4sp ; }
if (realpath ($_SERVER['SCRIPT_FILENAME'] )   ==   realpath __FILE__ ))  {
source_dump(__FILE__); }

    modular authentication system

    For full details, usage instructions, etc, see the accomanying readme.
    If you you got this without a readme, check out the link below.

    If you need help, mail me @, or if you think a solution to your
    issue would be valuable to others, drop a comment on the pajamas page..

    Have fun!

    ;o) Cor

    ps..    Big thanks to PCheese for all the help with the OOP.
            d00D! I get it now!  And I hope you like where I took it. ;o)

    (c) 2004->tomorrow! ~ cor + ;o)

    Please view the license for this free software, here:


    pajamas authentication..

class pajamas {


    Currently, we have the bare bones of the thing, and it works great!
    There may yet be bugs, and all bug reports are wholeheartedly welcomed.

var $_version            '0.3';

/*        public properties..        */

    default module

    (string)    name of module file (minus .php extension)

        current choices are 'plain' or 'pj' (the best)

        If, for some insane reason, you don't have access to a JavaScript-
        capable browser, use 'plain', otherwise, use 'pj'.

        the plain module can be configured in exactly the same way as
        the pajamas module, and has many of its features, too; sessions, IP
        check, time-out, etc., the only difference being that the password is
        sent over the wire in plain text.

        Though unlike HTTP basic authentication, which send the password with
        every single request, with the plain module, the password travels over
        the wires one time only.

var $_default_module    'pj';


    (string)    default: 'password';

        a quick and dirty way to store your password..

        or you could keep it in a database, or include from another file,.
        include '/some/other/place/config.php'; and set it externally..

            $auth->_login_password = 'MyPassword';

        Passwords are case-sensitive.

var $_login_password    'password';

    IP address check?

    boolean (true/false)    default: true;

        normally, we check the IP address of the authorising browser. However, if the user
        is behind a proxy farm (very unusual), this will break his session, as his IP will
        change with (possibly) each request. If you have users behind proxy farms, (or you
        are) set this to false, or else advise them to use *yet another* proxy (two proxies).

var $_check_ip          true;

    do time-out?

    boolean            default: true;

        we can specify a time-out for the session.  if you set this to false,
        the session is live until the client's browser is quit, or they log out.

var $_do_time_out       true;


    integer    (in minutes)     default: 60;

        an hour is reasonable, anything goes. the demo uses 0.5 (30 seconds)

var $_session_time      60;

    big luser

    integer    (max failed attempts)     default: 10;

        they tried and tried, but it just isn't happening. Or else they are taking the p*ss.
        A script perhaps, some brute force. Whatever, it would probably be best for everyone
        if we halted them in their tracks after how many failed login attempts?

var $_big_luser         10;

    kick bad users?

    boolean (true/false)    default: false;

        optionally we can prevent even correct logins from browsers that repeatedly sent bad logins..

        If you set this to true, after($_big_luser) failed login attempts, the property
        "$auth->_bad_user" will be set to true. Now, even a correct login will fail to authenticate.

        You can check for bad users, and then do what you like with them..

            if ($auth->_bad_user) { die('go away!');

        If you leave kick_bad_users set to false, a correct login will override all previous bad logins.

        The idea is, someone may be attempting to login from your terminal, and fail, so they receive
        a message informing them of the futility of it, *hopefully* they will stop now. If the *real*
        admin comes along, he should be able to log straight in, and shouldn't have the inconvenience
        of restarting the browser just because some twat was fooling around. But you can disable this
        behaviour by simply setting this to true.

var $_kick_bad_users    false;

    show error messages?

    boolean (true/false)    default: true;

        pj generates some messages for the various error conditions, you can use these however
        you like, and latest message is always in "_auth_message"

        If you like, you can have pj display these messages just above the login form,
        so the user is aware that their password was incorrect, or whatever..

var $_do_messages       true;

    create containing forms?

    boolean (true/false)    default: true;

        If you are already inside a form, set this to false to avoid nesting forms,
        which will break xhtml valiadation, among other things (including the md5)..

            $auth->_createForms = false;

        Remember you can also pass "true" to your form input function, to have a
        simple, div-less output, like this..

            echo $auth->getLoginForm(true);

var $_createForms       true;


    boolean (true/false)    default: true; (doesn't validate, but hey!)

        a good, mostly supported proprietary Internet Explorer property.

        This will break strict xhtml validation (which is annoying), but you may feel
        that it's worth it. With this set to true, browsers will not annoy you to try
        and save the password (which, at least with the 'pj' module, is a one-shot
        mish-mash that will become useless the instant you logout).

        It will only break your xhtml validation until you login, of course.

        Set this to true to add 'autocomplete="off"' to your password field. TADA!
        One of the rare occasions where Internet Explorer leads the way! If you are
        obsessed with strict xhtml 1.0 validation, screw your users and set this to

        btw: if you known an xhtml-friendly way to do this, MAIL ME! ;o)

var $_no_autocomplete    true;

    code loaction.

    (string)    default: '';

        Some modules may require included code.

        In "pj", this sets the default location of javascript MD5 functions file and
        will be used to create the <script> tag that includes the JavaScript MD5
        functions on your page, like this..

            echo $auth->getAuthCode();

        You can override the location by setting this..

            $auth->_code_location = 'inc/md5.js';

        *before* you echo the code. relative or absolute paths are fine, just like a
        regular javascript include.

var $_code_location        '';

    a simple error catcher.
    boolean (true/false)    default: true;

        session errors of level "E_NOTICE" (type 8) will be caught and stored,
        rather than spew onto your page. use..

            echo $auth->getErrors();

        to see them, or pipe that somewhere else. essentially this saves having
        your pages all messed up when you are testing your pj implementation on
        a server with error level E_ALL set (all development servers, yeah?),
        mainly for "session already started" type errors. It was annoying!

        we throw errors into a global variable because a) I use this system for
        errors anyway, (my debug script throws me a pop-up if it finds anything in
        $GLOBALS['errors'], and b) variables inside error handlers are a disaster!

var $_error_catcher        true;


        Private properties.

        You shouldn't change anything above either;
        set it externally like so..

        $auth->_do_time_out = false;

var $_auth_message        '';
$_auth_module        ''// a pointer to *real* auth class
var $_bad_user            false;
$_default_uid        'pajamas';
$_is_authenticated  null;    // start out in unknown (unset) state
var $_module_loaded        false;
$_modules_path        'modules/';
$_interface            'advanced';    // 'advanced' or 'simple'

    // constructor..
function pajamas ($uniqueid='') {
        if (!empty(
$uniqueid) and ctype_alnum($uniqueid)) {
$this->_unique_id $uniqueid;
        } else {
$this->_unique_id $this->_default_uid;
        if (
$this->_error_catcher) {

authModule() {

$this->_auth_module = new authModule($this->_unique_id);

// setup its preferences..
        // (we could perhaps check module's capabilities and only set those)
if ($this->_interface != 'simple') {
$this->_auth_module->_login_password        $this->_login_password;
$this->_auth_module->_check_ip                $this->_check_ip;
$this->_auth_module->_do_time_out            $this->_do_time_out;
$this->_auth_module->_session_time            $this->_session_time;
$this->_auth_module->_big_luser                $this->_big_luser;
$this->_auth_module->_kick_bad_users        $this->_kick_bad_users;
$this->_auth_module->_do_messages            $this->_do_messages;
$this->_auth_module->_createForms            $this->_createForms;
$this->_auth_module->_no_autocomplete        $this->_no_autocomplete;
$this->_module_loaded true;

auth_user() {

        if (!
$this->_module_loaded) { $this->authModule(); }
        if (
$this->_is_authenticated) { return true; }

$auth_status $this->_auth_module->auth_user();
$this->_auth_message $this->_auth_module->_auth_message;

        if (
$auth_status) {
$this->_is_authenticated true;
        } else {
$this->_is_authenticated false;

getAuthCode() {
// this will need to load before authentication,
        // so we set it here, and now overriding works as expected.
$this->_auth_module->_code_location    $this->_code_location;
$html $this->_auth_module->getAuthCode();
        if (!empty(
$html)) { return $html; }
            else { return 
''; }

getLoginForm($simple=false) {

getLogoutButton($simple=false) {

getSelf() {

getBadUser() {

remainingTime() {
        if (
$this->_do_time_out) {
$now explode(' ',microtime());
$time $now[1].substr($now[0],2,2);
settype($time'double'); // 100th/second..
return (($this->_session_time 6000) - ($time $_SESSION['auth'.$this->_unique_id]['login_at'])) / 100;
        } else { return 
false; }

    a simple session error catcher..
function getErrors() {
        if (!empty(
$GLOBALS['errors']['pajamas'])) {
startErrorHandler() {
handle_error($type$string$file$line$vars) {
        switch (
            case (
$type == and stristr($string'session')): // doesn't look so clever with only one case!
if (empty($GLOBALS['errors']['pajamas'])) { $GLOBALS['errors']['pajamas'] = ''; }
$GLOBALS['errors']['pajamas'] .= 'NOTICE! session error on line '.$line.' of '.$file.': '.$string;
// *ahem*
false// better let php handle this one.

// end class pajamas()

class pajamasSimple extends pajamas {

pajamasSimple($uniqueid='') {

        if (!empty(
$uniqueid) and strstr($uniqueid'-')) {
$simple_prefs explode('-'$uniqueid);
$uniqueid trim($simple_prefs[0]);
            if (!empty(
$simple_prefs[1])) { $my_module trim($simple_prefs[1]); }
$this->_interface 'simple';

        if (!empty(
$my_module)) { $this->_default_module $my_module; }
        if (!
$this->_module_loaded) { $this->authModule(); }

        if (!empty(
$this->_auth_module->_code_location)) {
$this->_code_location $this->_auth_module->_code_location;

        if (
$this->_auth_module->auth_user()) {
        } else {



    version history

    fixed bug, not passing variables through to getLogoutButton() and getLoginForm()

    first public release of pajamas engine

    basic authentication module loader. almost works.



have fun!


At least, this is the expected behaviour - currently, as far as I know, Opera saves the *typed* password, rather than the *sent* password, effectively defeating all forms of client-side password hashing strategy, dudes! - I've figured out a way around this, by the way, which will hopefully hit the code stage for my upcoming "shaggie" pajamas module. Take it easy!

Welcome to the comments facility!

previous comments (five pages)   show all comments

Will - 01.03.10 3:09 am

A bit of a newb question, but I got here from a google search on htpasswd.

Is there any way to protect a Directory using pajamas, the way you would with .htaccess+.htpasswd?

The readme was a little more technical than my level. Thx!

cor - 04.03.10 3:14 pm

Yes, simply drop the whole lot into the directory you want to protect - or else put it elsewhere on your site and set that path in the preferences inside pajamas.

Remember to set the name of the main pajamas page to your default document (usually index.php or similar). That way, whenever someone enters that directory, they always get pajamas, and not a directory listing.

Download the zip. The examples in the demo folder (inside the pajamas zip) should get you started. Open the simple demo (simple.php) in a text editor. It's basically this..

include 'inc/pajamas/pajamas.php';
$auth = new pajamasSimple('wadeva');

if (
$auth->auth_user()) {
// Authorised here
} else {
// not authorised here.

With that simple code you can protect anything (well, web resources!).

;o) Cor

ps. depending on the contents of the directory, you may want to opt for something with more features. Check out the distro machine, which includes pajamas.

drifter - 09.05.10 1:23 am

hi cor

i spent quite some time on your website today, checking out all of the interesting stuff you have here.

as far as pajamas is concerned:

I played with the demo and was browsing the images after authenticating. whilst clicking on the second image (instead of enlarging) it showed me the login screen again and i had to login again to continue.

after the last image (i still read the text under the image and gave it a good look for at least 30 seconds i would guess because my dog has now discovered fishing too), then logged out with the supplied button. It told me i must not hammer the site. could that be true?!

i then walked away from my pc for about 4 hours to do some other stuff. when i came back i clicked back several times to see where i was and it took me through all the stages as described above (i.e. pic4->pic3->login->pic2->pic1->login). i only thought about it later that it was not supposed to let me back in to see the images... or was it?!

i try to remember where i comment in case the people need more info of what i am on about, and i will surely come back to your site again, but i might miss this page totally. i find it a bit difficult to surf it due to that fairly cryptic image menu at the top. i initially came here from Google for the htaccess stuff, and when i tried to find it again later from your homepage as starting point it took quite some time.



Bobby - 20.06.10 2:35 am

Hi, I downloaded pajamas and am using the simple style... Even though I changed the password in the following variable directive in pajamas.php
var $_login_password = 'newpassword';
it still uses the old password, which is just password. Is there any place else that I need to change the password? Thanks!

cor - 20.06.10 2:47 am

I know; the readme is a bit lengthy. The bit you want goes like this..

When you run in "simple" mode, because you cannot override the module's built-in preferences, you will need to ensure that they are correct for your installation, and if need be, alter them inside the *module* itself

So do that, and you'll be okay.

;o) Cor

Bobby - 20.06.10 3:18 am

aah.. my bad.. thanks for a prompt response... i love the stuff u've created... looking at ur website, I can tell that you must be hell of a guy.. cheers !!!

Chris - 11.02.11 4:06 pm

I am a designer and lecturer living in London, teaching at Barnet Schools of Creative Industry, currently researching publising a source book for businesses and anyone seeking to set up online and market their product or services. Part of it covers designers and illustrators: to name a few.

I am planning format for ipad books. I wanted to know if you would me us to use your comments and credit you with links for the work on security online.

The info you wrote was outstanding on sit security.

Look forward to hearing from you.


So long as you give credit where it's due, you and anyone who wants to can copy whatever bits they like from Have fun! ;o) Cor

Donserdal - 15.03.11 12:37 am

Well im using Pajamas and disto machine Thanks works create!!

Cheers! ;o) Cor

DY - 20.03.11 10:57 am

Great script, thanks a lot!

I did kind of tear all the nice bits apart, and re-frankensteined it to a single file... but methods are still the same.

Do you have any examples to connect it to a database? I am working on my own implementation get a MySQL connection with multiple users, rights, statistics, etc... If you happen to have a bit a script that might be a pointer in the right direction, it'd be nice to have a look at.

Again; thanks a lot!



It's not something I've looked into, but I'm sure whatever code you produce would be useful to other pajamas users; do feel free to share back. ;o) Cor

DY - 04.04.11 7:24 pm

For the record; I am still working on it.

Currently, it is up&running fine (as it seems...), I will now do some testing, cleaning the code up and making it ready to publish.

Some features I added are;
- sha512 rather than MD5 (yep, I got inspired by your Shaggie)
- multiple hash turns (decoding hashes is to easy these days)
- multi-user/multi-pass (ofc)
- permissions (only the very, very basics of it)
- double hash turns; first 250 hashes, then the random/changing code is added, then it is hashed again 250 times, then it is sent&compared
This improves security for a database; if your DB will be stolen, thieves will only steal your hashes...

I am rather busy atm, but I'll contact you as soon as I'm done; I have no interest in spreading it, but you'll be free to do with it as you like (which includes spreading it).

BM - 13.06.11 5:55 pm


Do you already have a working example with MYSQL?
I'm interested in your code for my own website.

See here. ;o) Cor

First, confirm that you are human by entering the code you see..

(if you find the code difficult to decipher, click it for a new one!)

Enter the 5-digit code this text sounds like :

lower-case jay, Upper-Case Eff, fore, lower-case pee, Upper-Case Oh


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