Kerberos Password Sniffing

Jacques A. Vidrine nectar at
Sun Dec 1 11:45:49 EST 2002

On Sun, Dec 01, 2002 at 10:58:30AM +0000, Frank O'Dwyer wrote:
> Why 
> does it take the announcement of a tool to light a fire under people, 
> when the possibility of such a tool has been obvious and well documented 
> in the literature for over 10 years, as have the various possible fixes?

It comes up every now and again.  Earlier this year I submitted a
paper to USENIX which contained (what I thought to be) a fresh look at
the problem.  It was not accepted as the reviewers did not believe there
was enough new material [1].

A little later I also saw someone else release a short paper about
sniffing Windows 2000 Kerberos exchanges.  I think a reference to it was
posted to this group.

> There is also some breakdown in communication going on, since there are 
> 1000s of admins out there who have somehow got the message that Kerberos 
> is "unsniffable". 

Like many other (but not all) password-based schemes, offline
dictionary attacks may be made by passive sniffers, or by active

Jacques A. Vidrine <nectar at>
NTT/Verio SME          .     FreeBSD UNIX     .       Heimdal Kerberos
jvidrine at     .  nectar at  .          nectar at

[1] I am very grateful to the reviewers, who provided much useful

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