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Force AS/400 passwords to have uppercase and lowercase letters

Is there a way to force passwords in the AS/400 to have uppercase and lowercase letters?
The short answer is "No" but with a bit of programming the answer can be "Yes." Let me explain: Valid characters for passwords -- as well as maximum password length -- is controlled by the system value QPWDLVL. As i5/OS ships, the QPWDLVL is set to '0' which means that that the users' passwords can only consist of upper case A-Z, 0-9 and the special characters $, @, #, and _ (underscore.) Once you set the QPWDLVL system value to '2' or '3', passwords can be up to 128 characters long and consist of upper and lower case letters, spaces and all special characters. While there are some controls (system values beginning with QPWD*) that impose requirements on passwords (such as the minimum length, requiring a digit, etc.) no control exists for requiring passwords to contain both upper and lower case letters. However, you could write a password validation program that parses the password when a user attempts to change it and enforce the upper/lower case requirement that way.

For more information on moving to a higher password level, see the IBM manual, Tips and Tools for Securing your iSeries, available from the IBM information center.

This was first published in April 2007

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