This program does authentication for nnrpd against a Kerberos v5 KDC.
This is NOT real Kerberos authentication using service tickets; instead, a
username and password is used to attempt to obtain a Kerberos v5 TGT to
confirm that they are valid. As such, this authenticator assumes that
nnrpd has been given the user's username and password, and therefore is
not as secure as real Kerberos authentication. It generally should only
be used with NNTP over TLS to protect the password from sniffing.
Normally, you do not want to use this authenticator. Instead, use
ckpasswd with PAM support and configure the nnrpd PAM stack to use a
Kerberos PAM module. A full Kerberos PAM module is more sophisticated
about how it validates passwords and has a much broader array of options
than this authenticator.
If this option is given, instance will be used as the instance of the
principal received from nnrpd and authentication will be done against
that principal instead of the base principal. In other words, a principal
like "user", when passed to auth_krb5 invoked with "-i nntp", will be
transformed into "user/nntp" before attempting Kerberos authentication.
Since giving one's password to nnrpd is not as secure as normal
Kerberos authentication, this option supports a configuration where all
users are given a separate instance just for news authentication with its
own password, so their regular account password isn't exposed via NNTP.
The following readers.conf(5) fragment tells nnrpd to authenticate users
by attempting to obtain Kerberos v5 TGTs for them, appending an instance
of "nntp" to usernames before doing so:
Access is granted to the example.* groups for all users who successfully
Currently, any username containing realm information (containing "@") is
rejected. This is to prevent someone from passing in a username
corresponding to a principal in another realm that they have access to and
gaining access to the news server via it. However, this is also something
that people may wish to do under some circumstances, so there should be a
better way of handling it (such as, perhaps, a list of acceptable realms
or a -r flag specifying the realm in which to attempt authentication).
It's not clear the right thing to do when the username passed in contains
a "/" and -i was also given. Right now, auth_krb5 will create a
malformed Kerberos principal with multiple instances and attempt to
authenticate against it, which will fail but perhaps not with the best
Originally written by Christopher P. Lindsey. This documentation was
written by Russ Allbery <firstname.lastname@example.org> based on Christopher's original
$Id: auth_krb5.pod 8595 2009-08-21 08:29:26Z iulius $