The authentication protocol implemented by DCE shared-secret authentication. Kerberos was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In classical mythology, Kerberos was the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld.


A value used to encrypt and decrypt data. See also encryption key.

Key Management Facility

A DCE Security facility that enables noninteractive principals to manage their secret keys.

keytab file

A Security file that contains the encryption keys for server processes (for example, DFS processes) that run on the host machine. Typically, encryption keys for human principals are not stored in a keytab file. See also encryption key.

kilobyte (KB)

A unit of measurement for storage capacity equal to 1024 (210) bytes.

knowledge reference

Knowledge that associates, either directly or indirectly, a DIT entry with the DSA in which it is located.