the thing is
i need programs other than courier to be able to read the passwords
from my sql table (e.g., my mta and squirrelmail). is there any
reasonable way to unencrpyt the passwords or work around this?
If the passwords in userdb are encrypted, then there's no way to get
back the original passwords. However, the question is whether you
actually *need* the original plaintext passwords. If you stick the
hashed userdb passwords into your mysql table then courier can still use
them to validate users (unless you are using CRAM authentication, in
which case courier needs the passwords in plaintext).
So do these other apps need plaintext passwords or do they just need to
verify passwords? Normally (forgive me if you already know all this) a
program doesn't need the password in plaintext. To validate whether the
password is correct, it takes the given password, encrypts it, and then
compares that to the stored encrypted password. If they match then the
program knows that the password is correct. But the program doesn't
need to know the original password to do this. All it needs is the
So if you actually need your users' original passwords then you'll have
to get them from your users. But perhaps you can use the hashed
versions just as well.