9. Overview of Authentication Systems

Authentication is the process of reliably verifying the identity of someone (or something). There are lots of examples of authentication in human interaction. People who know you can recognize you based on your appearance or voice. A guard might authenticate you by comparing you with the picture on your badge. A mail order company might accept as authentication the fact that you know the expiration date on your credit card.

This chapter gives an overview of authentication systems, and subsequent chapters deal with the issues in more detail. There are two interesting cases. One case is when a computer is authenticating another computer, such as when a print spooler wants to authenticate a printer. The other ...

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