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Security question with Tomcat  RSS feed

Lu Battist
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I want to have a secure web site that allows users to self/register. My question is that if I secure the site using user names in the tomcat-users.xml file and specify what pages need securing in the web.xml, then
1) How can I dynamically add users to the users.xml file?
2) Is that secure, could someone hack in and get the whole list of user ids and passowrds?
What other alternatives are there?
I'm leaning towards forgetting about the web.xml and users.xml altogether and having one main login servlet validate a user out of a database and start a session. Then have each subsequent servlet get the session and if not its present redirect the user to the login servlet.
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