KDC is an acronym for Key Distribution Center. It is a centralized entity that is responsible for handling the distribution of secret encryption keys in a computer network, primarily in the context of Kerberos authentication protocol.
In the field of computer security, a KDC is an integral part of the Kerberos protocol, which facilitates secure authentication between clients and servers in a network environment. The KDC acts as the trusted third party that securely distributes session keys to the entities involved in the authentication process. It consists of two main components: the Authentication Server (AS) and the Ticket Granting Server (TGS).
The AS is responsible for authenticating clients' credentials and granting them a Ticket Granting Ticket (TGT) if their identity is verified. The TGS, on the other hand, is in charge of issuing a Service Ticket (ST) to the client based on the TGT, which allows the client to access specific services or resources within the network.
The KDC ensures the security and integrity of the authentication process by employing symmetric encryption techniques. It generates and distributes session keys to the clients and servers, which are used to encrypt and decrypt communication between the entities, ensuring confidentiality and preventing unauthorized access.
In summary, a Key Distribution Center (KDC) is a vital component of the Kerberos authentication protocol, responsible for securely distributing encryption keys to clients and servers, enabling secure communication and authentication in a computer network.