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RFC 1510

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RFC 1510

RFC 1510

Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 1510

J. Kohl
Digital Equipment Corporation
C. Neuman
September 1993

The Kerberos Network Authentication Service (V5)

Status of this Memo

This RFC specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


This document gives an overview and specification of Version 5 of the protocol for the Kerberos network authentication system. Version 4, described elsewhere [1,2], is presently in production use at MIT's Project Athena, and at other Internet sites.


Project Athena, Athena, Athena MUSE, Discuss, Hesiod, Kerberos, Moira, and Zephyr are trademarks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). No commercial use of these trademarks may be made without prior written permission of MIT.

This RFC describes the concepts and model upon which the Kerberos network authentication system is based. It also specifies Version 5 of the Kerberos protocol.

The motivations, goals, assumptions, and rationale behind most design decisions are treated cursorily; for Version 4 they are fully described in the Kerberos portion of the Athena Technical Plan [1]. The protocols are under review, and are not being submitted for consideration as an Internet standard at this time. Comments are encouraged. Requests for addition to an electronic mailing list for discussion of Kerberos, kerberos@MIT.EDU, may be addressed to kerberos-request@MIT.EDU. This mailing list is gatewayed onto the Usenet as the group comp.protocols.kerberos. Requests for further information, including documents and code availability, may be sent to info-kerberos@MIT.EDU.


The Kerberos model is based in part on Needham and Schroeder's trusted third-party authentication protocol [3] and on modifications suggested by Denning and Sacco [4]. The original design and implementation of Kerberos Versions 1 through 4 was the work of two former Project Athena staff members, Steve Miller of Digital Equipment Corporation and Clifford Neuman (now at the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California), along with Jerome Saltzer, Technical Director of Project Athena, and Jeffrey Schiller, MIT Campus Network Manager. Many other members of Project Athena have also contributed to the work on Kerberos. Version 4 is publicly available, and has seen wide use across the Internet.

Version 5 (described in this document) has evolved from Version 4 based on new requirements and desires for features not available in Version 4. Details on the differences between Kerberos Versions 4 and 5 can be found in [5].

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Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
RFC 1510