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Kerberos: The Definitive Guide by Jason Garman

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Chapter 8. Advanced Topics

So far, we have covered enough of the Kerberos authentication system to establish useful Kerberos realms and enable Kerberos support in applications to take advantage of a single-sign-on environment. This chapter will prepare you to create networks with multiple Kerberos realms and interoperate between different Kerberos implementations. It also discusses some issues to be aware of when working with multiple Kerberos implementations.

Cross-Realm Authentication

All of the Kerberos discussion so far has assumed that all users and resources on your network are located in a single Kerberos realm. However, what if there are several departments, locations, or other divisions that are under different administrative control, each with their own Kerberos realm? These users want to access not only resources in their local Kerberos realm, but also resources in the other realms as well, with a minimum of hassle. Kerberos cross-realm authentication can solve this problem.

In Kerberos, cross-realm is implemented by sharing an encryption key between two realms. The key that is shared is the Ticket Granting Service principal’s key. A typical Ticket Granting Service principal for a single realm looks like:

krbtgt/WEDGIE.ORG@WEDGIE.ORG

Note that the instance is the same as the realm name. In cross-realm, two principals are created on each participating realm. For two realms, ONE.COM and TWO.COM, these principals would be:

krbtgt/TWO.COM@ONE.COM
krbtgt/ONE.COM@TWO.COM

These principals ...

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