Jul 20, 2023


Kerberos V5 is an authentication system developed at MIT. Abridged from the User Guide Under Kerberos, a client sends a request for a ticket to the Key Distribution Center KDC. The KDC creates a ticket-granting ticket TGT for the client, encrypts it using the client’s password as the key, and sends the encrypted TGT back to the client. The client then attempts to decrypt the TGT, using its password. If the client successfully decrypts the TGT, it keeps the decrypted TGT, which indicates proof of the client’s identity. The TGT permits the client to obtain additional tickets, which give permission for specific services. Since Kerberos negotiates authenticated, and optionally encrypted, communications between two points anywhere on the internet, it provides a layer of security that is not dependent on which side of a firewall either client is on. The Kerberos V5 package is designed to be easy to use. Most of the commands are nearly identical to UNIX network programs you are already used to. Kerberos V5 is a single-sign-on system, which means that you have to type your password only once per session, and Kerberos does the authenticating and encrypting transparently.

Jacques Vidrine

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