Kerberos is a network-based authentication and access control system designed to support secure access over hostile networks. Kerberos was developed at MIT as part of the Athena project. The Kerberos system was originally intended for Unix-based systems, but it has since been ported to other environments. Microsoft provides a version of Kerberos for Windows networks.

As you have probably figured out by now, the short answer to the question of secure communication on hostile networks is encryption. The long answer is providing a means for protecting the security of the encryption keys. Kerberos offers a methodical process for distributing keys to the communicating hosts and verifying the credentials of a client requesting access to a ...

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