MIT has announced that Microsoft has joined the MIT Kerberos Consortium. Slava Kavsan, Director of Development for Windows Core Security at Microsoft, will take a seat on the Executive Board, joining Jordan Hubbard from Apple, Paul Armstrong from Google, Wyllys Ingersoll from Sun, and Wilson D'Souza from MIT.
The MIT Kerberos Consortium was created to establish Kerberos as the universal authentication platform for computer networks. Building upon the existing Kerberos protocol suite, the Consortium will develop interoperable technologies to enable organizations and federated realms of organizations to use Kerberos as the single sign-on solution for access to all applications and services. It will also promote the adoption of these technologies so that ultimately all operating systems, applications, imbedded devices, and Internet based services can utilize Kerberos for authentication and authorization.
Kerberos is a network authentication protocol, originally developed for MIT's Project Athena in the 1980s. Over the past two decades, it has grown to become the most widely deployed system for authentication and authorization in modern computer networks. However, it is currently mostly available only in large enterprise networks. Kerberos' ability to require strong mutual authentication has enormous potential to protect consumers doing business on the public Internet from phishing and other types of attacks.
Microsoft has implemented the Kerberos protocol in a number of its products including Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008. Kerberos is also the primary authentication mechanism offered by Microsoft Active Directory.