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1 Introduction

The Public Key Cryptography for Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT) protocol [RFC4556] enables the use of public key cryptography in the initial authentication exchange (that is, in the Authentication Service (AS) exchange) of the Kerberos protocol [MS-KILE]. This specification describes the Public Key Cryptography for Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT): Microsoft Extensions protocol (PKCA) and how the Windows implementation of PKINIT differs from what is specified in [RFC4556].

In an implementation of [RFC4120] or KILE, the security of the AS exchange depends on the strength of the password used to protect it. This also affects the security of subsequent protocol requests.

By using public key cryptography to protect the initial authentication, the Kerberos protocol [MS-KILE] is substantially strengthened and can be used with already existing public key authentication mechanisms such as smart cards.

This document references the PKINIT methods and data formats [RFC4556] and [RFC5349], that the client and the KDC can use both to mutually authenticate during the AS exchange with public and private key pairs and to negotiate the AS-REP key, which allows the KDC to encrypt the AS-REP key sent to the client.

Sections 1.8, 2, and 3 of this specification are normative and can contain the terms MAY, SHOULD, MUST, MUST NOT, and SHOULD NOT as defined in RFC 2119. Sections 1.5 and 1.9 are also normative but cannot contain those terms. All other sections and examples in this specification are informative.

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