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Squid authentication helpers

I set up squid with authentication helper following along the line the guide here http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/authentication_with_squid the only difference is that my users together with NTLM password hashes are stored in a mysql database.

The php-function that compute the ntlm hash is the following.

function ntlm_hash($txt)
        $txt = iconv('UTF-8', 'UTF-16LE', $txt);
        $md4 = bin2hex(mhash(MHASH_MD4, $txt));

        return strtoupper($md4);

Now I am bit concerned about security and I do not want to use basic http authentication. I know one solution is to use SSL with squid, but by default squid on debian is built without SSL support. The other solution I was thinking is to use NTLM authentication helper; the protocol is described here http://squid.sourceforge.net/ntlm/squid_helper_protocol.html

Unfortunately I did not find anything interesting to guide me (besides the specification at the link), does anybody know how a possibile implementation may works? For instance it is not clear if I can implement the protocol only with NTLM password hashes. Does anybody have other suggestions to strengthen the user authentication? Considering that I have only available the NTLM hash of the password.

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