Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Kerberos Thinks Big

Authentication technology could be the watchdog for an even wider world.

In September, MIT founded the Kerberos Consortium to support and expand a network authentication protocol developed at MIT in 1983. Kerberos, named for the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades in Greek mythology, watches over both client and server when a user signs in to a system. Built into all major operating systems, it has succeeded beyond MIT’s ability to support it alone. That’s what prompted the formation of the consortium, which–among other things–hopes to adapt ­Kerberos for use with more types of hardware, including mobile devices, so it can function as a universal platform for network authentication.

Today, organizations that want to use products incompatible with their security infrastructure must accept inferior security or roll out more infrastructure, adding cost and complexity. “Kerberos works well with a lot of security technologies,” says Kerberos Consortium chief technolo­gist Sam Hartman. “It provides a framework to glue things together rather than limiting the infrastructure choices.”

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today
Next in MIT News
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.