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The University of Alaska Authentication Service (AuthServ) utilizes the University of Alaska Enterprise Directory (EDIR) to validate your log in. Like all LDAP directories, EDIR knows you by relative distinquested name (RDN).


Since nobody likes to memorize, let alone enter, a long RDN, AUTHSERV lets you to identify your self by shorter, more easily remembered values that also appear on your EDIR record. Those values are:

 UA Usernamepjfudd
 UA User ID30012345 (also called Banner ID)
 EDIR Vanity Email

UA Username   A University of Alaska Username is assigned in the Banner system and uniquely identifies a student, faculty or staff member. Username is comprised of your first and middle initials followed by last name and a sequence number. The sequence number is present only if a username was previously generated for the same initials and last name.

Guest accounts correspond to no Banner identitity. To distinquish guest accounts from those originating in the Banner system, UA Username is prefixed by "UAguest".

UA UserID  A University of Alaska UserID (variously refered to as student ID, employee ID, UAOnline ID and Banner ID) is also assigned in the Banner system and uniquely identifies a student, faculty or staff member. UserID is an 8 digit number; the same number found on official paper work for an individual and the ID used to log into UAOnline.

Guest accounts correspond to no Banner identitity. To distinquish guest accounts from those originating in the Banner system, UA UserID is prefixed by "UAguest".

EDIR Vanity Email Address  An email alias which can be used to route email addressed as '' to your preferred email account. Because vanity addresses reference no campus, they are unaffected by changes in employment and associated changes in assigned email address. Because they are unique, they can be used as log in identifiers by AUTHSERV.
EDIR UID  A unique identifier specific to the Enterprise Directory. EDIR UIDs are intentionally cryptic so as to convey no information about the owner.

AUTHSERV log in forms explicitly list only UA Username and UA UserID, however, any of the above identifiers can be used to log in. If logging on with an EDIR vanity email address, you must enter the complete address and not just the account name:

Valid vanity email address:
Invalid vanity address: pjf
Invalid vanity address:
Invalid vanity address:
Invalid vanity address:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The only email addresses accepted as log in names are EDIR vanity email addresses. Campus email addresses are not valid as log in names.

The University of Alaska Enterprise Directory (EDIR) contains information about students, faculty and staff, not all of which is visible to the general public. To see restricted directory information or update EDIR information, you must log in with a valid username and password.

What follows is a list of rules governing passwords within UA AuthServ, UA's central authentication service. These requirements are designed to meet federal standards for password-based level of assurance appropriate for normal business transactions (see NIST Special Publication 800-63); the password policies below have been evaluated against the Password Entropy Spreadsheet instantiating NIST 800-63.

  • Valid Password Values / Passphrases
    • must be 8 or more characters long
    • must contain characters from ALL 3 of the following characters sets:
      • lower case letters
      • numbers & other printable characters
    • cannot be a dictionary word or a simple variant, e.g., Reindeer, 8Reindeer, Methuselah, and Methuselah969 are all d isallowed;
    • may not be a recent previous passwords;
    • passphrases are encouraged, e.g., 'Methuselah lived 900 years' o r 8 tiny Reindeer'
  • Password / Passphrase Expiration
    • passwords expire after 400 days from when established
    • passwords may be changed any time prior to expiration
    • after expiration, a password must be reset before it can be changed on the self-reset form
    • password expiration warnings are emailed starting 7 days prior to expiration
    • Authentication ["login"] Failures
      • failed authentication ['login'] attempts are counted
      • accounts are temporarily suspended after several consecutive failures
      • suspension last for a few minutes
      • This prevents discovering your password by trying all combinations of letters and symbols
    • Default Passwords [Default Passwords will be phased out for students & employees in 2008]
      • password is set to the default value during account activation
      • password is set to the default value during a password reset of any kind
      • regular account default passwords are based on recorded SSN and month, day, year of birth: SSSSMMDDYY
      • guest account default passwords are based on the numeric identifier and date provided via the sponsor at account creat ion (####MMDDYY); that may or may not be SSN and birthdate
      • default passwords function only to perform a password change on post-reset password change form
    • Password Change versus Password Reset
      • a password change is performed by the user at any other time to establish a new password if you know your current pass word
      • the password reset process allows users who have forgotten their password to re-verify their identity by answering a series of questions, then requires you to set a new password
      • either process may be performed at ELMO
UA AuthServ verifies your initial identity by determining that you know information in your official University of Alaska student or employment record, including the social security number and birthday in that record. Neither UA AuthServ nor the underlying databases (directory and registry) store a copy of your complete social security number.

If your official University of Alaska record does not contain a social security number for any reason, then you must contact your campus help desk for assistance. The campus help desk can verify your identity by checking other information in your University record and then assisting your first-time log in.

Edir version 0052 10-Mar-11