In a non-networked personal computing environment resources and information can be protected by physically securing the personal computer. But in a network of users requiring services from many computers the identity of each user has to be accurately verified. For authentication kerberos is being used. Kerberos is a third party authentication technology used to identify a user requesting a service
What is Kerberos?
Network authentication protocol
Developed at MIT in the mid 1980s
Available as open source or in supported commercial software
Sending usernames and passwords in the clear jeopardizes the security of the network.
Each time a password is sent in the clear, there is a chance for interception.
Firewall vs. Kerberos?
Firewalls make a risky assumption: that attackers are coming from the outside. In reality, attacks frequently come from within.
Kerberos assumes that network connections (rather than servers and work stations) are the weak link in network security.
Interactions between hosts and clients should be encrypted.
Must be convenient for users (or they wonâ„¢t use it).
Protect against intercepted credentials.
Private Key: Each party uses the same secret key to encode and decode messages.
Uses a trusted third party which can vouch for the identity of both parties in a transaction. Security of third party is imperative.
How does Kerberos work?
Instead of client sending password to application server:
Request Ticket from authentication server
Ticket and encrypted request sent to application server
How to request tickets without repeatedly sending credentials?
Ticket granting ticket (TGT)
How does Kerberos work?: Ticket Granting Tickets
How does Kerberos Work?: The Ticket Granting Service
How does Kerberos work?: The Application Server
Within networks and small sets of networks
Weaknesses and Solutions
The Competition: SSL
Recent modifications attempt to address this problem
Public key cryptography for Client Authentication and cross realm authentication
Issues are not resolved
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