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.