HTML layout by Tatu J. Lund Apr 1997
Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 1459
7. Client and server authentication
Clients and servers are both subject to the same level of authentication. For both, an IP number to hostname lookup (and reverse check on this) is performed for all connections made to the server. Both connections are then subject to a password check (if there is a password set for that connection). These checks are possible on all connections although the password check is only commonly used with servers.
An additional check that is becoming of more and more common is that of the username responsible for making the connection. Finding the username of the other end of the connection typically involves connecting to an authentication server such as IDENT as described in RFC 1413.
Given that without passwords it is not easy to reliably determine who is on the other end of a network connection, use of passwords is strongly recommended on inter-server connections in addition to any other measures such as using an ident server.