4.3. Task 4.3: Implementing Syskey

Syskey is a utility that strengthens security on the user account database on a Windows system. It is built into the Windows operating system and encrypts the Security Accounts Management (SAM) database.

Syskey has three modes of operation:

  • Syskey Mode 1 is implemented by default on every Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Server 2003 system. Mode 1 encrypts the SAM database and stores the decryption key securely on the local system. This key can be accessed automatically at system startup.

  • Syskey Mode 2 stores the key locally, but requires that a system key password be typed in during the system boot-up process to access the SAM database decryption key just prior to starting any services. Without the proper system ...

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