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ldapmodify question

i'm attempting to change an object's userPassword attribute and don't
understand why i'm getting an error. i have included the default
core.schema, have no ACLs configured, am binding as my rootdn, other
modifications work fine. here's what i'm doing:

box:ian[508] /export/home> ldapmodify -D "cn=manager,dc=ians,dc=net" -W
Enter LDAP Password: 
dn: uid=user,ou=people,dc=ians,dc=net
changetype: modify
replace: userPassword  
userPassword: {CRYPT}ooGkGUUMHUTsA

modifying entry "uid=user,ou=people,dc=ians,dc=net"
ldap_modify: Undefined attribute type
        additional info: userPassword  : attribute description contains
inappropriate characters

ldif_record() = 17
box:ian[509] /export/home> 

the daemon is logging the following debug info:

daemon: activity on 1 descriptors
daemon: activity on: 9r
daemon: read activity on 9
connection_get(9): got connid=35
connection_read(9): checking for input on id=35
ber_get_next: tag 0x30 len 104 contents:
ber_get_next on fd 9 failed errno=11 (Resource temporarily unavailable)
ber_scanf fmt ({a) ber:
do_modify: dn (uid=user,ou=people,dc=ians,dc=net)
ber_scanf fmt ({i{a[V]}}) ber:
ber_scanf fmt ({i{a[V]}}) ber:
        replace: userPassword  
        replace: userPassword
====> cache_find_entry_dn2id("UID=USER,OU=PEOPLE,DC=IANS,DC=NET"): 20 (1
<= dn2id 20 (in cache)
=> id2entry_r( 20 )
entry_rdwr_rtrylock: ID: 20
====> cache_find_entry_id( 20 ) "uid=user,ou=people,dc=ians,dc=net"
(found) (1 tries)
<= id2entry_r( 20 ) 0xfb458 (cache)
entry_rdwr_runlock: ID: 20
====> cache_return_entry_r( 20 ): returned (0)
send_ldap_result: conn=35 op=1 p=3
send_ldap_result: 17::userPassword  : attribute description contains
inappropriate characters
send_ldap_response: msgid=2 tag=103 err=17
ber_flush: 85 bytes to sd 9

my user currently looks like this:

box:ian[509] /export/home> ldapsearch "uid=user"
dn: uid=user,ou=people,dc=ians,dc=net
objectClass: top
objectClass: person
objectClass: organizationalPerson
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: posixAccount
objectClass: shadowAccount
uid: user
userPassword:: e0NSWVBUfW9vR2tHVVVNSFVUc0EK=
uidNumber: 65122
gidNumber: 10
gecos: User
homeDirectory: /export/home/user
loginShell: /bin/tcsh
cn: User
shadowLastChange: -1
shadowMin: -1
shadowMax: -1
shadowWarning: -1
shadowInactive: -1
shadowExpire: -1
shadowFlag: -1

any help would be appreciated.