Exploring Windows Authentication Mechanisms

When a password is used to log on to a local computer, the local security subsystem can ask the user for a username and password, and the user can input that information directly to the local computer via the keyboard. When a user is accessing a remote system from across a network connection, the user must have some other mechanism to provide the username and password to the remote computer. The challenge in doing so is to find a way to send that data across the network while minimizing the chance that an attacker who is monitoring the network communication (via a sniffer, for example) would be able to learn the username/password combination. Windows systems use one of three main types of authentication ...

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