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File Protection

Encoded Passwords

Encoding a password enables you to write SAS programs without having to specify a password in plain text. The PWENCODE procedure uses encoding to disguise passwords. With encoding, one character set is translated to another character set through some form of table lookup. An encoded password is intended to prevent casual, non-malicious viewing of passwords. You should not depend on encoded passwords for all your data security needs; a determined and knowledgeable attacker can decode the encoded passwords.

When an encoded password is used, the syntax parser decodes the password and accesses the file. The encoded password is never written to the SAS log in plain text. SAS doesn't accept passwords longer than eight characters. If an encoded password is decoded and is longer than eight characters, SAS reads it as an incorrect password and sends an error message to the SAS log. For more information, see the PWENCODE Procedure in Base SAS Procedures Guide.

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