8 Basic Differences between Kerberos Version 4 and Version 5

What are the differences between Kerberos version 4 and version 5?

Kerberos is a web-based software meant for providing user identities and request authentication. This happens since the internet is a very insecure place.

The exchange of sensitive information related to users as a result of the development of a different version of Kerberos to enhance security.

The article provides information on the core differences between Kerberos version 4 and version 5. Take the time to read through for deeper insight.

Read More: Difference between Inner Join and Outer Join

Differences between Kerberos Version 4 and Version 5

What Is Kerberos Version 4?

Kerberos version 4 is a web-based software that uses DES encryption for authentication of users’ information while accessing the web.

Version 4 works by sending a system to use the common key to encrypt the current time whereby the receiving system will have the ability to decrypt and check against its current time.

This implies that Kerberos work by authenticating the user password using the kinit command which acquires the ticket at that particular time. Once the session is complete, the ticket is destroyed immediately.

What Is Kerberos Version 5?

Kerberos version 5 is a protocol used to authenticate a single service that is distributed in a network. It is normally implemented in both 2000 and Windows XP.

Version 5 works by allowing a single user account database for authenticating users on all enterprise computing platforms to access all services in a heterogeneous environment.

Comparison Chart: Kerberos Version 4 Vs Version 5

Basic TermsKerberos Version 4Kerberos Version 5
ChronologyWas released in the year 1980sWas released in the year 1993.
Key Salt AlgorithmUses the principal name partially.Uses the entire principal name.
Encoding SystemReceiver-Makes-RightASN.1 coding system
Ticket supportSatisfactoryWell extended to enhance forwarding, renewing and postdating ticket
Network addressesHas a few IP addresses and other addresses for types of network protocols.Has multiple IP addresses and other addresses for types of network protocols.
Transitive cross-realm authentication supportNo current support for the causeReasonable support present for such authentication.
Encryption TechniquesDES encryption techniques. The ciphertext is tagged with an encryption type identifier.
Ticket LifetimeTend to be identified in units for a lifetime of 5 minutes.The ticket has one-lifetime identification from the start to the end.
KeyThe same key is used repeatedly to gain a service from a particular server, there is a risk that an attacker can replay messages from an old session to the client or server.It is avoided by requiring a sub-session key which is used only for one connection.
MeaningIt is an authentication system that uses DES encryption to authenticate a user when logging into the system.It is an authentication system that provides a single authentication service in a distributed network.

Core Differences between Kerberos Version 4 and Version 5

  1. Kerberos version 4 was released in the 1980s while version 5 in 1993.
  2. The ticket support for Kerberos version 4 is satisfactory while that of version 5 is well extended to enhance forwarding, renewing, and postdating.
  3. The encoding system of Kerberos version 4 is receiver-makes-right whereas version 5 uses the ASN. I coding system.
  4. The encryption technique of Kerberos version 4 is DES while that of version 5 is the ciphertext that is tagged with an encryption type identifier.
  5. Kerberos version 4 uses IP addressing while Kerberos V5 can use any address.
  6. Kerberos version 4 tickets lifetime has to be specified in units of 5 minutes while Kerberos version 5 ticket lifetime one can specify an explicit start and finish times allowing arbitrary lifetimes.
  7. Kerberos version 4 uses a few IP addresses and other addresses for types of network protocol whereas Kerberos version 5 uses multiple IP addresses for types of network protocols.
  8. Kerberos version 4 uses the principle name partially whereas Kerberos version 5 uses the entire principal name.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Does Kerberos v5 Work?

Kerberos V5 is based on the Kerberos authentication system developed at MIT. Here the client sends a request for a ticket to the Key Distribution Center and tries to decrypt the TGT using its password. 

  • What is the Latest Version of Kerberos?

Kerberos version 5 is the latest. The protocol was developed in 1993 and it is commonly used to offer the best Kerberos authentication service. 

  • What is a Kerberos Ticket?

It is a certificate issued by an authentication server and encrypted using the server key. It is used to distribute it to the verifier.

  • What is Kerberos in a Distributed System?

It is a protocol for authenticating service requests between trusted hosts across an untrusted network like the internet. The system comprises a client, a server, and a Key Distribution Center (KDC). 

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Comparison Video

Conclusion 

The core similarities of the Kerberos version 4 and version 5 is that they are both the updates of Kerberos software.

Understanding the differences between Kerberos version 4 and version 5 is quite important when managing web-based software.

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