Kerberos Authentication

Kerberos authentication is a cryptography-based protocol that is used to secure logins. The Kerberos is a mythological three-headed Greek creature. It guards the gates to prevent the soul from escaping. Due to this inspection, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a protocol to protect their project.

Their main idea behind the Kerberos is to get authentication where users can avoid sending passwords through the internet.

This simple protocol can adopt an insecure network because it is based on strong cryptography and developed by the client-server model. Users can easily enable the service by using Kerberos authentication, and they can also refer to the service called “Kerberos aware”. This mainly works with the majority of the software.

How Kerberos Authentication Works?

When you need authentication Kerberos works as asymmetric encryption, and this is trusted by the third party, the famous Key Distribution Center (KDC).

EHA

As soon as authentication happens Kerberos started to store the correct ticket for the session and users who are aware of Kerberos service only look for authentication via password.

Here you can few steps to get Kerberos Authentication:

  1. PC client will log in to the domain, and the Ticket-Granting Ticket wills sent the request for Kerberos KDC.
  2. After this, KDC returns the session key and TCT to the PC Client.
  3. Now is the time when a ticket gets requested for the application server which the Kerberos KDC sends. This consists of TGT, PC clients, and other authenticators.
  4. After doing this, KDC returns the ticket to the PC Client.
  5. The final ticket has been sent by the application server, which must get authenticated by the PC Client.
  6. Now is time to the reply to the server through the PC Client to another authenticator. After receiving the authentication, the PC Client can authenticate the server easily.
Kerberos Authentication
Kerberos Authentication

Advantages of Kerberos

Kerberos has many advantages like other technical solutions. Those are discussed below:

  1. It is so safe that passwords will never be sent to the network; only keys are allowed to send.
  2. Always mutual authentication happens so that the client and server get connected at the same step and communicate with the right counterpart.
  3. The best advantage is authentication is always reusable, and it will never expire.
  4. It completely depends on the internet standard.
  5. Since Kerberos provides security vast number of the industry has adopted this, and they are happy to use its security protocol.

How to Install and use the Kerberos?

Whenever you are using Kerberos authentication, you need to remember and enable the authentication for the browser. It will always not be saved by default so it is better that you install the web browser used commonly.

For Internet Explorer

  1. As soon as you open the dialog box, you need to select the Advanced tab.
  2. After that scroll down and click on the security setting, allowing you to enable an integrated windows authentication box.
  3. Now you need to click to OK button, then restart your browser, and you need to change your PC setting to take this into effect.

For Firefox

  1. After opening Firefox, you need to enter the configuration and address bar; if you get an ant warning, then you need to dismiss it.
  2. As soon as you enter the filter field, you need to start a negotiation.
  3. You need to double-click the network, negotiate, and trusted the URIS preference.
  4. After reaching the dialogue box, you need to enter the remedy on the domain.
  5. Finally, you need to click on the OK button.

From the above information, you can see that there is a chance password to steal, so Kerberos provides you with another way to recover it and keep your password safe.

Is Kerberos Infallible?

No security tool can give you 100% impregnable, except Kerberos. In this tool, hackers need to find a way to come inside; it is mainly used to forge tickets. It does not allow you to repeat the attempt so that the attacker will not guess the passwords, and you can also use the malware to downgrade the encryption.

Moreover, Keberos is still one of the best security which is available today. This is so much fixed that employees can robust the encryption algorithm to help combat the new threats. Users even will get good password policies.

Important factors of Kerberos

You can get the handful of factors that influence Kerberos operation and it helps you to get rid of your problem. Those are:

  1. Replication between domain controllers: When multiple domain controllers get deployed, a replica needs to enable and provide coverage in a timely manner. If replication gets fails, authentication gets failure, and this is possible when the user changes his password.
  2. Need to use NETBIOS and DNS name resolution: Kerberos is the principal name including NETBIOS and DNS address. In this KDC and the Client must resolve the names, but the IP address gets used as a Service principal name in certain situations.
  3. Clients and KDCs must keep their clock synchronized: If you want an accurate measurement, Kerberos must prevent the replay attack. It also supports the configurable time skew whose default time is five minutes, meanwhile, there can be a chance to get fail the authentication.
  4. Clients and KDCs have to communicate with the network: Usually, traffic occurs due to TCP and UDP port 88, and these are accessible from all the clients, which are at least one domain controller called KDC.
  5. Clients, services, and users need to have a unique name: Every computer will have a duplicate name the same way in this service principle. The main cause is Kerberos and sometimes authentication failure can also happen.  

Where does Kerberos get used?

Maximum use of Kerberos is done by Microsoft’s Active Directory. Kerberos supports all types of application systems like Apple OSX/iOS and other UNIX and Linux distributions.

When Microsoft gets implemented heavily, it extends its version. It also has software packages that implement through the core specification and provide secure authentication in most contexts.

Final Thoughts

Kerberos is one of the best authentication protocols, which lies at the heart of Microsoft’s Active Directory. It helps enterprises to protect themselves and keep them far from attack. We hope you like this article and it will be needful for you.

Gurubaran is a Security Consultant, Security Editor & Co-Founder of Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.