RIP version 2 (RIPv2) is defined in RFC 1723. RIPv2 maintains the same distance vector characteristics of RIPv1. Updates are still sent every 30 seconds, and the 15-hop limitation still exists. However, RIPv2 becomes a classless routing protocol. The new features implemented include support for VLSM, support for authentication of route updates, and multicast updates.
RIPv2 can be used in small networks where VLSM masking is required. Authentication can be used to prevent communication from listening to UNIX stations. RFC 1723 defines simple plain-text authentication for RIPv2. In addition to plain-text passwords, Cisco's implementation provides the capability to use MD5 authentication. MD5 is the message digest algorithm defined in RFC 1321. Its algorithm takes as input a message of arbitrary length and produces as output a 128-bit fingerprint or message digest of the input, making it much more secure than plain-text passwords.
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