Definitions for "Basic authentication"
A method of authentication that requires the user to enter a valid user name and password before access to a secure online resource is granted.
A method of authentication that encodes the user name and password. Basic authentication is called plaintext because the encoding (base-64) can be decoded by anyone with a common decoding utility. Note that encoding is not the same as encryption.
An authentication mechanism built into the HTTP protocol with which a Web server requests a username and password from a client. These are passed unencrypted across the Internet. It is possible, however, to request authentication via a channel that is encrypted at the transport level (for example, SSL or PCT), in which case, the username and password are encrypted.