Kerberos is a secure authentication protocol for networked systems. It was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was first released in the 1980s. The protocol provides secure authentication of users and services, allowing them to communicate over an insecure network such as the Internet. Kerberos uses secret-key cryptography to secure communications and relies on a trusted third-party authentication server known as the Key Distribution Center (KDC).
One implementation of Kerberos is Microsoft’s Active Directory, a.k.a. AD, which provides centralized authentication and authorization. Active Directory uses Kerberos to provide single sign-on capabilities for Windows-based computers, allowing users to access network resources with a single set of credentials. In addition to managing user and computer accounts, Active Directory also includes features such as group policy, trust relationships, and the ability to integrate with other directory services such as LDAP and NIS. Also, AD allows users to integrate the authentication of external services like Kafka or ClickHouse.