1.3.2 S4U2proxy

The Service for User to Proxy (S4U2proxy) extension provides a service that obtains a service ticket to another service on behalf of a user. This feature is known as constrained delegation.<1> The Kerberos ticket-granting service (TGS) exchange request and response messages, KRB_TGS_REQ and KRB_TGS_REP, are used along with the new CNAME-IN-ADDL-TKT and S4U_DELEGATION_INFO data structures. The second service is typically a proxy performing some work on behalf of the first service, and the proxy is doing that work under the authorization context of the user.

The S4U2proxy extension requires that the service ticket to the first service has the forwardable flag set (see Service 1 in the figure specifying Kerberos delegation with forwarded TGT, section 1.3.3). This ticket can be obtained through an S4U2self protocol exchange.

This feature differs from the Kerberos forwarded-TGT delegation mechanism and the proxy-service-ticket delegation mechanism ([RFC4120] section 2.5) in the following ways:

  • The service does not require the user to forward either the user's ticket-granting ticket (TGT) or the proxy ticket and the associated session key.

  • The user does not need to authenticate through Kerberos (the S4U2self extension can be used instead, but this is not a requirement). In other words, the user does not need to have a TGT or a proxy service ticket.

  • Local policy can be used to limit the services that can be delegated. This is contradictory to the forwarding-TGT delegation mechanism, as specified in [RFC4120] section 2.6, where a service can delegate to any other service. This is similar to the proxy ticket delegation, as specified in [RFC4120] section 2.5, except the client is not involved in making the delegation decision.

  • The client has no control over whether a service can delegate on behalf of the user. The client does not request delegation nor does it pass a forwardable TGT to the service. The client cannot detect that delegation will be, or has been, performed. If local policy allows the service to perform S4U2proxy delegation, this delegation is performed solely at the discretion of the service.

When using the S4U2proxy delegation and forwarded-TGT delegation mechanisms, the delegation is invoked when the server impersonates the client and performs operations on a remote server (such as ldap_bind() or RPC_bind()). The Kerberos Security Support Provider (SSP) will first detect whether the forwarded-TGT delegation mechanism is available (by checking whether there is a forwarded TGT in the local ticket cache); if no forwarded TGT is available, the Kerberos SSP will then try to perform the S4U2proxy delegation.