Kerberos - Computer Definition
Authorization software that makes use of private-key authentication. Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kerberos is available for free, although commercial versions exist. Kerberos was named for the three-headed dog, also known as Cerberus, that guarded the gates of Hades in Greek mythology. Note: Although, according to Greek legend, Hercules defeated Kerberos, a hacker of Herculean proportions has yet to emerge victorious over this powerful security software. See also Access Manager, authorization, security, and Sesame.
A network authentication protocol using symmetric cryptography to provide authentication for client-server applications. The core of Kerberos architecture is the KDC (Key Distribution Server), storing authentication information and using it to securely authenticate users and services. Authentication is called “secure” because it does not occur in plaintext, it does not rely on authentication by the host operating system, it does not base trust on IP addresses, and it does not require physical security of the network hosts. For these reasons, the KDC acts as a trusted third party in performing authentication services.
The Tech FAQ. What is Kerberos? [Online, 2004.] The Tech Faq Website: http://www.tech-faq.com/cryptology/kerberos.shtml.
An access control system that was developed at MIT in the 1980s. Turned over to the IETF for standardization in 2003, it was designed to operate in both small companies and large enterprises with multiple domains and authentication servers. The Kerberos concept uses a "master ticket" obtained at logon, which is used to obtain additional "service tickets" when a particular resource is required. Kerberos Checks Passwords Once When users log in to a Kerberos system, their password is encrypted and sent to the authentication service in the Key Distribution Center (KDC). If successfully authenticated, the KDC creates a master ticket that is sent back to the user's machine. Each time the user wants access to a service, the master ticket is presented to the KDC in order to obtain a service ticket for that service. The master-service ticket method keeps the password more secure by sending it only once at logon. From then on, service tickets are used, which function like session keys. From the Greeks The name comes from Greek mythology in which a three-headed dog guards the gates to Hades (Hades is the home of the dead beneath the earth, otherwise known as hell).