draft-ietf-krb-wg-kerberos-referrals-04.txt   [plain text]

Kerberos Working Group                               Karthik Jaganathan
Internet Draft                                                Larry Zhu
Document: draft-ietf-krb-wg-kerberos-referrals-04.txt       John Brezak
Category: Standards Track                                     Microsoft
                                                             Mike Swift
                                               University of Washington
                                                       Jonathan Trostle
                                                          Cisco Systems
                                                  Expires: January 2005

           Generating KDC Referrals to locate Kerberos realms

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC-2026 [1].

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other
   groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts.
   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt. The list of Internet-
   Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at


   The draft documents a method for a Kerberos Key Distribution Center
   (KDC) to respond to client requests for Kerberos tickets when the
   client does not have detailed configuration information on the realms
   of users or services. The KDC will handle requests for principals in
   other realms by returning either a referral error or a cross-realm
   TGT to another realm on the referral path. The clients will use this
   referral information to reach the realm of the target principal and
   then receive the ticket.

Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119 [2].

1. Introduction

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   Current implementations of the Kerberos AS and TGS protocols, as
   defined in [3], use principal names constructed from a known user or
   service name and realm. A service name is typically constructed from
   a name of the service and the DNS host name of the computer that is
   providing the service. Many existing deployments of Kerberos use a
   single Kerberos realm where all users and services would be using the
   same realm.  However in an environment where there are multiple
   trusted Kerberos realms, the client needs to be able to determine
   what realm a particular user or service is in before making an AS or
   TGS request. Traditionally this requires client configuration to make
   this possible.

   When having to deal with multiple trusted realms, users are forced to
   know what realm they are in before they can obtain a ticket granting
   ticket (TGT) with an AS request. However, in many cases the user
   would like to use a more familiar name that is not directly related
   to the realm of their Kerberos principal name. A good example of this
   is an RFC-821 style email name [4]. This document describes a
   mechanism that would allow a user to specify a user principal name
   that is an alias for the user's Kerberos principal name. In practice
   this would be the name that the user specifies to obtain a TGT from a
   Kerberos KDC. The user principal name no longer has a direct
   relationship with the Kerberos principal or realm. Thus the
   administrator is able to move the user's principal to other realms
   without the user having to know that it happened.

   Once a user has a TGT, they would like to be able to access services
   in any trusted Kerberos realm. To do this requires that the client be
   able to determine what realm the target service principal is in
   before making the TGS request. Current implementations of Kerberos
   typically have a table that maps DNS host names to corresponding
   Kerberos realms.  In order for this to work on the client, each
   application canonicalizes the host name of the service, for example
   by doing a DNS lookup followed by a reverse lookup using the returned
   IP address. The returned primary host name is then used in the
   construction of the principal name for the target service. In order
   for the correct realm to be added for the target host, the mapping
   table [domain_to_realm] is consulted for the realm corresponding to
   the DNS host name. The corresponding realm is then used to complete
   the target service principal name.

   This traditional mechanism requires that each client have very
   detailed configuration information about the hosts that are providing
   services and their corresponding realms. Having client side
   configuration information can be very costly from an administration
   point of view - especially if there are many realms and computers in
   the environment.

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   There are also cases where specific DNS aliases (local names) have
   been setup in an organization to refer to a server in another
   organization (remote server). The server has different DNS names in
   each organization and each organization has a Kerberos realm that is
   configured to service DNS names within that organization. Ideally
   users are able to authenticate to the server in the other
   organization using the local server name. This would mean that the
   local realm be able to produce a ticket to the remote server under
   its name. You could give that remote server an identity in the local
   realm and then have that remote server maintain a separate secret for
   each alias it is known as. Alternatively you could arrange to have
   the local realm issue a referral to the remote realm and notify the
   requesting client of the server's remote name that should be used in
   order to request a ticket.

   This draft proposes a solution for these problems and simplifies
   administration by minimizing the configuration information needed on
   each computer using Kerberos. Specifically it describes a mechanism
   to allow the KDC to handle canonicalization of names, provide for
   principal aliases for users and services and provide a mechanism for
   the KDC to determine the trusted realm authentication path by being
   able to generate referrals to other realms in order to locate

   To rectify these problems, this draft introduces three new kinds of
   KDC referrals:

   1. AS ticket referrals, in which the client doesn't know which realm
   contains a user account.
   2. TGS ticket referrals, in which the client doesn't know which realm
   contains a server account.
   3. Cross realm shortcut referrals, in which the KDC chooses the next
   path on a referral chain

2. Requesting a referral

   In order to request referrals defined in section 5, 6, and 7, the
   Kerberos client MUST explicitly request the canonicalize KDC option
   (bit 15) [3] for the AS-REQ or TGS-REQ. This flag indicates to the
   KDC that the client is prepared to receive a reply that contains a
   principal name other than the one requested.

       KDCOptions ::= KerberosFlags
                -- canonicalize (15)
                -- other KDCOptions values omitted

   The client should expect, when sending names with the "canonicalize"
   KDC option, that names in the KDC's reply MAY be different than the

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   name in the request. A referral ticket is a cross realm TGT that is
   returned when the sname of the ticket is not the sname in the request

3. Realm Organization Model

   This draft assumes that the world of principals is arranged on
   multiple levels: the realm, the enterprise, and the world. A KDC may
   issue tickets for any principal in its realm or cross-realm tickets
   for realms with which it has a direct trust relationship. The KDC
   also has access to a trusted name service that can resolve any name
   from within its enterprise into a realm. This trusted name service
   removes the need to use an un-trusted DNS lookup for name resolution.

   For example, consider the following configuration, where lines
   indicate trust relationships:

                   /        \
                  /          \

   In this configuration, all users in the MS.COM enterprise could have
   a principal name such as alice@MS.COM, with the same realm portion.
   In addition, servers at MS.COM should be able to have DNS host names
   from any DNS domain independent of what Kerberos realm their
   principals reside in.

4. Client Name Canonicalization

   A client account may have multiple principal names. More useful,
   though, is a globally unique name that allows unification of email
   and security principal names. For example, all users at MS may have a
   client principal name of the form "joe@MS.COM" even though the
   principals are contained in multiple realms. This global name is
   again an alias for the true client principal name, which indicates
   what realm contains the principal. Thus, accounts "alice" in the
   realm NTDEV.MS.COM and "bob" in OFFICE.MS.COM may logon as
   "alice@MS.COM" and "bob@MS.COM".

   This utilizes a new client principal name type, as the AS-REQ message
   only contains a single realm field, and the realm portion of this
   name doesn't correspond to any Kerberos realm. Thus, the entire name
   "alice@MS.COM" is transmitted as a single component in the client
   name field of the AS-REQ message, with a name type of NT-ENTERPRISE
   [3]. The KDC will recognize this name type and then transform the

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   requested name into the true principal name.  The true principal name
   can be using a name type different from the requested name type.
   Typically the true principal name will be a NT-PRINCIPAL [3].

   If the "canonicalize" KDC option is set, then the KDC MAY change the
   client principal name and type in the AS response and ticket returned
   from the name type of the client name in the request. For example the
   AS request may specify a client name of "bob@MS.COM" as an NT-
   PRINCIPAL with the "canonicalize" KDC option set and the KDC will
   return with a client name of "104567" as a NT-UID.

5. Client Referrals

   The simplest form of ticket referral is for a user requesting a
   ticket using an AS-REQ. In this case, the client machine will send
   the AS-REQ to a convenient trusted realm, for example the realm of
   the client machine. In the case of the name alice@MS.COM, the client
   MAY optimistically choose to send the request to MS.COM. The realm in
   the AS-REQ is always the name of the realm that the request is for as
   specified in [3].

   The KDC will try to lookup the name in its local account database. If
   the account is present in the realm of the request, it SHOULD return
   a KDC reply structure with the appropriate ticket.

   If the account is not present in the realm specified in the request
   and the "canonicalize" KDC option is set, the KDC will try to lookup
   the entire name, alice@MS.COM, using a name service. If this lookup
   is unsuccessful, it MUST return the error KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN
   [3].  If the lookup is successful, it MUST return an error
   KDC_ERR_WRONG_REALM [3] and in the error message the crealm field
   will contain either the true realm of the client or another realm
   that MAY have better information about the client's true realm. The
   client MUST NOT use a cname returned from a referral.

   If the client receives a KDC_ERR_WRONG_REALM error, it will issue a
   new AS request with the same client principal name used to generate
   the first referral to the realm specified by the realm field of the
   Kerberos error message from the first request. The client SHOULD
   repeat these steps until it finds the true realm of the client. To
   avoid infinite referral loops, an implementation should limit the
   number of referrals.  A suggested limit is 5 referrals before giving
   up. In Microsoft's current implementation through the use of global
   catalogs any domain in one forest is reachable from any other domain
   in the same forest or another trusted forest with 3 or less

6. Service Referrals

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   The primary problem in service referrals is that the KDC must return
   a referral ticket rather than an error message as is done in AS
   ticket referrals. There needs to be a place to include in the TGS-REP
   information about what realm contains the service. This is done by
   returning information about the service name in the pre-
   authentication data field of the KDC reply [3].

   If the KDC resolves the service principal name into a principal in
   the realm specified by the service realm name, it will return a
   normal ticket.

   If the "canonicalize" flag in the KDC options is not set, the KDC
   MUST only look up the name as a normal principal name in the
   specified service realm. If the "canonicalize" flag in the KDC
   options is set and the KDC doesn't find the principal locally, the
   KDC MAY return a cross-realm ticket granting ticket to the next hop
   on the trust path towards a realm that may be able to resolve the
   principal name.

   When a referral TGT is returned, the KDC MUST return the target realm
   for the referral TGT as an KDC supplied pre-authentication data
   element in the response. The pre-authentication data MUST be
   encrypted using the sub-session key from the authenticator if present
   or the session key from the ticket. The pre-authentication data
   contains the referred realm, and if known, the real principal name.

       PA-SERVER-REFERRAL      25

       PA-SERVER-REFERRAL-DATA ::= EncryptedData
                             -- ServerReferalData --

       ServerReferralData ::= SEQUENCE {
              referred-realm         [0] Realm,
                             -- target realm of the referral TGT
              referred-name          [1] PrincipalName OPTIONAL,
                             -- service principal name, MAY differ
                             -- from the server name in the request

   Clients MUST NOT process referral tickets if the KDC response does
   not contain the PA-SERVER-REFERRAL.

   If applicable to the encryption type, the key usage value for the
   encryption key used by PA-SERVER-REFERRAL is 26 if the session key
   from the ticket is used or 27 if a sub-session key is used.

   If the referred-name field is present, the client MUST use that name

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   in a subsequent TGS request to the service realm when following the

   The client will use this information to request a chain of cross-
   realm ticket granting tickets until it reaches the realm of the
   service, and can then expect to receive a valid service ticket.
   However an implementation should limit the number of referrals that
   it processes to avoid infinite referral loops. A suggested limit is 5
   referrals before giving up.

   Here is an example of a client requesting a service ticket for a
   service in realm NTDEV.MS.COM where the client is in OFFICE.MS.COM.

       +NC = Canonicalize KDCOption set
       C: TGS-REQ sname=server/foo.ntdev.ms.com +NC to OFFICE.MS.COM
          containing MS.COM as the referred realm with no referred name
       C: TGS-REQ sname=server/foo.ntdev.ms.com +NC to MS.COM
          containing NTDEV.MS.COM as the referred realm with no referred
       C: TGS-REQ sname=server/foo.ntdev.ms.com +NC to NTDEV.MS.COM
       S: TGS-REP sname=server/foo.ntdev.ms.com@NTDEV.MS.COM

7. Cross Realm Routing

   The current Kerberos protocol requires the client to explicitly
   request a cross-realm TGT for each pair of realms on a referral
   chain. As a result, the client need to be aware of the trust
   hierarchy and of any short-cut trusts (those that aren't parent-
   child trusts).

   Instead, using this referral routing mechanism, The KDC will
   determine the best path for the client and return a cross-realm TGT
   as the referral TGT, and the target realm for this TGT in the PA-
   SERVER-REFERRAL of the KDC reply.

   If the "canonicalize" KDC option is not set, the KDC MUST NOT return
   a referral ticket. Clients MUST NOT process referral tickets if the
   KDC response does not contain the PA-SERVER-REFERRAL.

8. Compatibility with earlier implementations of name canonicalization

   The Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 releases included an
   earlier form of name-canonicalization [5]. Here are the differences:

   1) The TGS referral data is returned inside of the KDC message as

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   "encrypted pre-authentication data".

       EncKDCRepPart   ::= SEQUENCE {
              key                [0] EncryptionKey,
              last-req           [1] LastReq,
              nonce              [2] UInt32,
              key-expiration     [3] KerberosTime OPTIONAL,
              flags              [4] TicketFlags,
              authtime           [5] KerberosTime,
              starttime          [6] KerberosTime OPTIONAL,
              endtime            [7] KerberosTime,
              renew-till         [8] KerberosTime OPTIONAL,
              srealm             [9] Realm,
              sname             [10] PrincipalName,
              caddr             [11] HostAddresses OPTIONAL,
              encrypted-pa-data [12] SEQUENCE OF PA-DATA OPTIONAL

   2) The preauth data type definition in the encrypted preauth data is
   as follows:

       PA-SVR-REFERRAL-INFO       20

              referred-name   [1] PrincipalName OPTIONAL,
              referred-realm  [0] Realm

9. Security Considerations

   In the case of TGS requests the client may be vulnerable to a denial
   of service attack by an attacker that replays replies from previous
   requests. The client can verify that the request was one of its own
   by checking the client-address field or authtime field, though, so
   the damage is limited and detectable.

   For the AS exchange case, it is important that the logon mechanism
   not trust a name that has not been used to authenticate the user.
   For example, the name that the user enters as part of a logon
   exchange may not be the name that the user authenticates as, given
   that the KDC_ERR_WRONG_REALM error may have been returned. The
   relevant Kerberos naming information for logon (if any), is the
   client name and client realm in the service ticket targeted at the
   workstation that was obtained using the user's initial TGT.

   How the client name and client realm is mapped into a local account
   for logon is a local matter, but the client logon mechanism MUST use
   additional information such as the client realm and/or authorization

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   attributes from the service ticket presented to the workstation by
   the user, when mapping the logon credentials to a local account on
   the workstation.

10. Acknowledgements

   The authors wish to thank Ken Raeburn for his comments and

11. References

11.1 Normative References

   [1] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP
   9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

   [2] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
   Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [3] Neuman, C., Yu, T., Hartman, S., and K. Raeburn, "The Kerberos
   Network Authentication Service (V5)", draft-ietf-krb-wg-kerberos-
   clarifications. Work in progress.

   [4] Postel, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", RFC 821, August

11.2 Informative References

   [5] Trostle, J., Kosinovsky, I., and Swift, M., "Implementation of
   Crossrealm Referral Handling in the MIT Kerberos Client", In Network
   and Distributed System Security Symposium, February 2001.

12. Author's Addresses

   Karthik Jaganathan
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, Washington
   Email: karthikj@Microsoft.com

   Larry Zhu
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, Washington
   Email: lzhu@Microsoft.com

   Michael Swift
   University of Washington

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   Seattle, Washington
   Email: mikesw@cs.washington.edu

   John Brezak
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, Washington
   Email: jbrezak@Microsoft.com

   Jonathan Trostle
   Cisco Systems
   170 W. Tasman Dr.
   San Jose, CA 95134
   Email: jtrostle@cisco.com

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