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The method used at my current location is a slight variation on the suggestions above: Each team member has a personal superuser login whose password is known only to them. Each team member then resets passwords on users in the dev, test, and staging environments and logs in as those users. For the applications where passwords expire they usually alternate ...


In one situation when we copied production data to QA, we set passwords of all outside users to one know value. So testers can log to account of a real user in QA (with copy of the data from PROD, all settings and stuff), but don't need to know user's valid login credentials. This will not prevent someone looking into any user's data, but will prevent ...


I've used option 1 and 2 on occasion. Two other options I've used are. 4) Setup test servers to not require authentication. Obviously if your test servers are identical to your prod servers this would be a huge security issue. Where we have done this all the test data was bogus. 5) Encrypt passwords. Maven 2.1+ offers password encryption.


How much are you willing to invest ? The simplest and most common way I have used is running a system at medium to high load continuously for weeks or months. At the high end I can imagine an over clocked system running x N faster so you can squeeze years into weeks or months. There is also a way to partially work around the problem and use mock instead ...

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