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When in a remote session over Terminal Services/Remote Desktop, the yellow bar at the top of the screen displays an image of a lock (tooltip says: Security Details) in addition to the usual push-pin, host name and window size controls. Older versions of Remote Desktop didn't have the lock icon.

enter image description here

When the lock icon is clicked the following message is displayed:

"The identity of the remote computer was verified using Kerberos."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this or why it's important. Under what circumstance has a problem occurred in which this lock icon could have provided a solution?

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It's an additional level of authentication. Kerberos is used to authenticate a remote PC, normally in the case of name spoofing on a non-secured network. I don't know that it is addressing a specific reported issue as much as adding an extra level of security.

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So it's mainly intended to be a visual indicator that you're connected using a more secure mode instead of a less secure mode. The click message just confirms the level of security as Kerberos. That seems to make sense if indeed I'm properly reflecting back the answer in other terms while trying to understand. – John K Sep 1 '10 at 23:36
Yep, you got it. It's like the lock icon in most browsers that indicates your security level. – JNK Sep 2 '10 at 0:06
If the remote machine you are connecting to is in a Windows domain and the domain is using the Kerberos protocol, then the domain can authenticate that the machine you actually connect to is the correct machine. For a description of who this works, see Section 4 or Chapter 3 of "Kerberos: The Definitive Guide" by Jason Garman. – rlandster Aug 18 '13 at 16:28

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