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Introduction to Kerberos Authentication

Fahad Farid

Kerberos is a network authentication protocol used to provide authentication for client/server apps by using secret-key cryptography.

It uses the following steps to authenticate:


  1. Client requests an authentication ticket (TGT) from the Key Distribution Center (KDC).
  2. The KDC verifies the credentials and sends back an encrypted TGT and session key.
  3. To access an app on a server, a ticket request for the application server gets sent to the KDC, consisting of the client’s TGT and an authenticator.
  4. The KDC returns a ticket and a session key to the user.
  5. The client sends the ticket to the application server. Once the ticket and authenticator have been received, the server can authenticate the client.
  6. The server replies to the client with another authenticator, which verifies the server.




Fahad Farid
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