Adding bcrypt-style password hashing to Zend_Auth with phpass

I've been using the Zend Framework to good effect on and off for a few months now and have found it very useful in rapidly bringing projects to completion. Many people feel Zend Framework is more a library than a framework and with good reason. There are few things it prevents you from doing but it's not ready to go 'out of the box' in the way some other frameworks are. One example is in the way passwords are stored in the database. The default is simply to store them in plain text.

The manual does cover hashing the password but even this isn't really ideal. There seems to be some consensus forming that the correct way to handle passwords is using bcrypt, a Blowfish-based hashing scheme. The most widely known demonstration of this within the PHP community is the phpass hashing framework. It has already been integrated into wordpress and phpBB. As such, I was in good company integrating it into my own projects.

The first step is making the phpass code available in your ZF project. The changes I made were minor, renaming the class and switching the PasswordHash function to __construct. I would encourage you to fetch the latest code from the phpass project page. The snippet of code I changed is below.

class Acai_Hash {
    
	var $itoa64;
	var $iteration_count_log2;
	var $portable_hashes;
	var $random_state;

	function __construct($iteration_count_log2, $portable_hashes)
	{

The next step was altering the database table adapter in Zend_Auth. The code for this is below.

<?php

class Acai_Auth_Adapter_DbTable extends Zend_Auth_Adapter_DbTable
{

    public function __construct ($zendDb = null, $tableName = null, $identityColumn = null, $credentialColumn = null)
    {
        //Get the default db adapter
        //From where?  It is not stored in the registry.
        if ($zendDb == null) {
            $zendDb = Zend_Registry::get('DbAdapter');
        }

        //Set default values
        $tableName = $tableName ? $tableName : 'accounts';
        $identityColumn = $identityColumn ? $identityColumn : 'email';
        $credentialColumn = $credentialColumn ? $credentialColumn : 'password';

        parent::__construct($zendDb,
                                $tableName,
                                $identityColumn,
                                $credentialColumn);
    }

    protected function _authenticateCreateSelect()
    {
        // get select
        $dbSelect = clone $this->getDbSelect();
        $dbSelect->from($this->_tableName)
                 ->where(
            $this->_zendDb->quoteIdentifier($this->_identityColumn, true)
            . ' = ?', $this->_identity);

        return $dbSelect;
    }

    protected function _authenticateValidateResult($resultIdentity)
    {
        //Check that hash value is correct
        $hash = new Acai_Hash(8, false);
        $check = $hash->CheckPassword($this->_credential,
                                    $resultIdentity['password']);

        if (!$check) {
            $this->_authenticateResultInfo['code'] =
                            Zend_Auth_Result::FAILURE_CREDENTIAL_INVALID;
            $this->_authenticateResultInfo['messages'][] =
                            'Supplied credential is invalid.';
            return $this->_authenticateCreateAuthResult();
        }

        $this->_resultRow = $resultIdentity;

        $this->_authenticateResultInfo['code'] =
                            Zend_Auth_Result::SUCCESS;
        $this->_authenticateResultInfo['messages'][] =
                            'Authentication successful.';
        return $this->_authenticateCreateAuthResult();
    }

    
    public function getResultRowObject ($returnColumns = null, $omitColumns = null)
    {
        if ($returnColumns || $omitColumns) {
            return parent::getResultRowObject($returnColumns, $omitColumns);
        } else {
            $omitColumns = array('password');
            return parent::getResultRowObject($returnColumns, $omitColumns);
        }

    }

}

Usage is just as for the standard Zend adapter.

$auth = Zend_Auth::getInstance();
$authAdapter = new Acai_Auth_Adapter_DbTable;
$authAdapter->setIdentity($values['email'])
            ->setCredential($values['password']);
$result = $auth->authenticate($authAdapter);

if (!$result->isValid()) {

    //Bad credentials
    
} else {

    //Good credentials
    
}

When you're initially registering a new user a hash can be generated simply with the following code.

//Generate hash for password
$hash = new Acai_Hash(8, false);
$passwordHash = $hash->HashPassword($password);

Hopefully you can integrate the above code into your own projects. If you have any questions post them in the comments below and I'll try to answer them.

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Email templates using Zend_Mail and Zend_View

In a recent project I was working on which was based on Zend Framework (ZF) I wanted to send out some fairly complex emails following user registrations and for various alerts. ZF has a decent class for sending emails which just left forming the text I wanted to send in each email. For each type of email much of the content would remain the same with just a few things changing like name and date. I could have mixed up these elements and strung them together in a variable. This would probably have become very messy very quickly in the same way that mixing html and logic together gets messy quickly.

The solution to the html/logic issue is to use templates and unsurprisingly the same approach also works well for email. There is no shortage of templating systems for PHP and I suspect most would work perfectly adequately for this task. As I was already using ZF though I decided to go with Zend_View.

The class which follows wraps Zend_Mail and Zend_View together. It's possible to quickly and simply assign variables to be used in the template and then when the time comes to send the email additional default variables can be included from a config file. The config file also includes the location where the templates are stored and the email address from which the email should be sent.

/**
 * A template based email system
 *
 * Supports the sending of multipart txt/html emails based on templates
 *
 *
 * @author Jonathan Street
 */
class Acai_Mail
{

    /**
     * Variable registry for template values
     */
    protected $templateVariables = array();

    /**
     * Template name
     */
    protected $templateName;

    /**
     * Zend_Mail instance
     */
    protected $zendMail;
     
    /**
     * Email recipient
     */
    protected $recipient;
    
    /**
     * __construct
     *
     * Set default options
     *
     */
    public function __construct ()
    {
        $this->zendMail = new Zend_Mail();

        

    }

    /**
     * Set variables for use in the templates
     *
     * Magic function stores the value put in any variable in this class for
     * use later when creating the template
     *
     * @param string $name  The name of the variable to be stored
     * @param mixed  $value The value of the variable
     */
    public function __set ($name, $value)
    {
        $this->templateVariables[$name] = $value;
    }

    /**
     * Set the template file to use
     *
     * @param string $filename Template filename
     */
    public function setTemplate ($filename)
    {
        $this->templateName = $filename;
    }
    
    /**
     * Set the recipient address for the email message
     * 
     * @param string $email Email address
     */
    public function setRecipient ($email)
    {
        $this->recipient = $email;
    }

    /**
     * Send the constructed email
     *
     * @todo Add from name
     */
    public function send ()
    {
        /*
         * Get data from config
         * - From address
         * - Directory for template files
         */
        $config = Zend_Registry::get('Config');
        $templateDir = $config->email->template->dir;
        $fromAddr = $config->email->from;
        $templateVars = $config->email->vars->toArray();

        foreach ($templateVars as $key => $value)
        {
            //If a variable is present in config which has not been set
            //add it to the list
            if (!array_key_exists($key, $this->templateVariables))
            {
                $this->{$key} = $value;
            }
        }
        
        //Build template
        //Check that template file exists before using
        $viewConfig = array('basePath' => $templateDir);
        $subjectView = new Zend_View($viewConfig);
        foreach ($this->templateVariables as $key => $value)
        {
            $subjectView->{$key} = $value;
        }
        try {
            $subject = $subjectView->render($this->templateName . '.subj');
        } catch (Zend_View_Exception $e) {
            $subject = false;
        }
        
        $textView = new Zend_View($viewConfig);
        foreach ($this->templateVariables as $key => $value)
        {
            $textView->{$key} = $value;
        }
        try {
            $text = $textView->render($this->templateName . '.txt');
        } catch (Zend_View_Exception $e) {
            $text = false;
        }
        
        $htmlView = new Zend_View($viewConfig);
        foreach ($this->templateVariables as $key => $value)
        {
            $htmlView->{$key} = $value;
        }
        try {
            $html = $htmlView->render($this->templateName . '.html'); 
        } catch (Zend_View_Exception $e) {
            $html = false;
        }

        //var_dump($subject);
        //var_dump($text);
        //var_dump($html);
        
        //Pass variables to Zend_Mail
        $mail = new Zend_Mail();
        //var_dump($fromAddr);
        $mail->setFrom($fromAddr);
        //var_dump($this->recipient);
        $mail->addTo($this->recipient);
        
        $mail->setSubject($subject);
        
        $mail->setBodyText($text);
        if ($html !== false) {
            $mail->setBodyHtml($html);
        }
        
        //Send email
        //$config = Zend_Registry::get('configuration');
        $transport = $config->email->transport;
        if($transport == 'Dev')
        {
            $tr = new Acai_Mail_Transport_Dev;
            $mail->send($tr);
            return;
        }
        $mail->send();
    }
    
}

You may want to make some changes to how the class fetches its default values depending on your setup.

Using the class is very simple. Here is the code I use to send a confirmation email to a new user.

$emailObj = new Acai_Mail;
$emailObj->setRecipient($data['email']);
$emailObj->setTemplate('register');
$emailObj->activationLink = $actiUri;
$emailObj->send();

Hopefully you find the above code of some use and can integrate it into your own projects. If you have any questions or suggestions please do post them in the comments below.

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Presentation at BarcampNortheast3 - Improvised search for a private phpBB forum using PHP, MySQL and sphinx

Three weekends ago I went down to Newcastle to attend BarcampNortheast3. For anyone who doesn't know what a barcamp is Wikipedia provides a decent explanation

BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences (or unconferences) - open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants. The first BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats.

The idea is that those attending also present. I decided to talk about the work I did setting up a dedicated search engine for a private phpBB powered forum as it is something not many people probably have ever needed to do. Below is the short powerpoint presentation I put together. Excessive use of powerpoint is discouraged so there isn't much in it. Further details are below.

Background

phpBB does have its own search functionality so it's reasonable to ask why is anything else needed. Unfortunately the users of this forum had found that the site was slowing down. The problem was believed to be the search functionality and so it was set to only make the past year and future content searchable. This meant there was several years worth of content which didn't show up in the search engine. I had arrived to this community relatively recently and so had missed a lot of good content. Initially I had asked to have access to the database which would have made making the site fully searchable straightforward. Unfortunately the owner of the site didn't have the technical know how to feel safe granting me, a relative newcomer, access to the database.

3 steps

To get around this I decided to do what google does and fetch the site one html page at a time and get the content that way. The project could be broken down into 3 steps; create a mirror of the site locally, insert the content extracted from the local mirror into a database, and finally setup sphinx to index the content.

The Problems

As the site is password protected creating the local mirror required some additional work to handle login sessions. The html of the pages throws up several errors running it through the w3c validator which created problems for extracting content. Finally all the important information in the URL is in the query string.

Wget

Wget is a really nice tool for downloading information from the internet. It was relatively easy to cajole it into handling logging it. Unfortunately I soon realized it was repeatedly downloading the same content again and again. This was a problem with wget but reflected the redundant linking structure of phpBB. A topipc might have twenty posts and each post had a unique URL which pulled in all the content for the entire topic. Wget does allow you to filter the URLs you download but it doesn't filter on the query string which is what I needed.

Zend_HTTP

In the end I created a custom script to handle crawling the site with Zend_HTTP handling the actual HTTP requests.

Scraping HTML

Running each downloaded page through the PHP Tidy extension and then feeding the resulting text to SimpleXML worked in most, though not all, cases. Since the barcamp conference I have since re-implemented this section of the project using Python and BeautifulSoup which was able to handle all the downloaded pages.

Releasing Sphinx

I considered three options for the search engine; two Lucene based projects, Zend_Search and Solr, and then sphinx. I had heard that Zend_Search would be rather slow at indexing and I felt that Solr, although the most powerful option, would be overly complex for my needs. I therefore decided to give Sphinx a try.

Sphinx is set up to be able to pull content from a MySQL database so when I had a complete copy of the forum locally I extracted all the posts to a MySQL database table ready to be fed to Sphinx. First though I had to get Sphinx talking to MySQL. To fetch content directly from a MySQL database Sphinx requires the mysql-devel package to be installed. A search using apt-get couldn't find the package. Fortunately a quick google search turned up this page which suggested a fix.

After that the only other problem was the paths in the manual didn't match up with the path to the sphinx executables on my system. The api and the example configuration files could be easily adapted for my needs and I quickly had a working search engine. The rest of the slides are self-explanatory so I'll stop here. If you have any questions post them in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them.

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