Determine whether Syskey has been applied to a system


Syskey strongly encrypts the password hashes in the Windows NT
SAM. Syskey will help to protect the passwords stored in ERDs and backup tapes.
The system will not boot without the encryption key. For background: Encrypt
hashes in SAM with 128-bit encryption using SYSKEY
.

How can you determine whether Syskey has or has not been applied to enhance
NT’s security? You can set down at the console of each NT and issue the Syskey
command. The Syskey command will tell you whether it is in place, and if it is,
whether the startup key is stored locally on the hard drive; startup key must be
entered at the console at boot; or the startup key is stored on a floppy disk
which must be inserted in the floppy drive when the system prompts for the
diskette. Not a realistic solution if you have hundreds of
systems spread around the country.

How does NT know that Syskey has been applied to a system? The presence of
the SecureBoot value means Syskey has been applied. Its
value reveals the method Startup Key must be accessed:

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key: SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa
Name:
SecureBoot
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0x1 Startup Key stored on local hard
drive
Value: 0x2 password Startup
Key
Value: 0x3 Startup Key stored on
floppy disk

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