Hotfix is available that disables the function that lets users change the format of a physical smart card PIN or a VSC PIN in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012

Introduction

This article describes a hotfix that disables the function that lets users change the format of a Virtual Smart Card (VSC) personal identification number (PIN) by using the CTRL+ALT+DEL sequence. After you apply this hotfix, you can enable and disable this function.

By design, a VSC PIN must have a minimum of 8 digits and can contain any combination of numbers and characters. For example, Pin1234! and 12345678 are valid VSC PINs. Physical smart cards may not have this limitation.

For VSCs, you cannot use a mechanism that is built into Windows to apply a policy that enforces a specific PIN format (such as a 10 digit PIN that contains only numbers). However, for both VSCs and physical smart cards, you can enforce a PIN format by using other methods. For example, you can use a custom PIN tool to enforce the PIN format. To make sure that users do not change a specified PIN format, disable the function that lets users change the PIN format.

More Information

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix Download Available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft website: Note The "Hotfix Download Available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must be running running one of the following operating systems:
  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
For more information about how to obtain a Windows 7 or a Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

976932 Information about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Registry information

After you apply this hotfix, follow these steps to enable or disable the function that lets users change the smart card PIN:
  1. Start Registry Editor. To do this, press the Windows logo key+R, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  4. Type SmartCardCredentialProvider, and then press Enter.
  5. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Perform one of the following actions, based on the kind of smart card on which you want to restrict functionality: 
    • For VSCs, type AllowVirtualSmartCardPinChangeAndUnlock, and then click Modify.
    • For physical smart cards, type AllowSmartCardPinChangeAndUnblock, and then click Modify.
  7. Type 1 in the value data box, and then click OK.

    Note
     If you set either the AllowVirtualSmartCardPinChangeAndUnlock or AllowSmartCardPinChangeAndUnblock value to 1, users can change the format of the PIN. If you set the value to 0, users cannot change the format of the PIN.
  8. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click REG_SZ or REG_EXPAND_SZ Value.
  9. Perform one of the following actions, based on the kind of smart card on which you want to restrict functionality:
    • For VSCs, type VirtualSmartCardPinChangeAndUnlockString, and then click Modify.
    • For physical smart cards, type SmartCardPinChangeAndUnblockString, and then click Modify.
  10. You can use the VirtualSmartCardPinChangeAndUnlockString and SmartCardPinChangeAndUnblockString registry values to display information on the user's computer. Type any information that you want to provide to the user, and then click OK.
  11. Exit Registry Editor.

You can set the VirtualSmartCardPinChangeAndUnlockString or SmartCardPinChangeAndUnblockString registry entry value to REG_SZorREG_EXPAND_SZ. If you want the text on the Secure Desktop screen to contain carriage returns, follow these steps to change the binary data of the registry entry:
  1. Set the VirtualSmartCardPinChangeAndUnlockString or SmartCardPinChangeAndUnblockString registry entry value to REG_EXPAND_SZ, and then input the text that you want to display to users.
  2. Right-click the registry entry that you set in step 1, and then click Modify binary data....
  3. Add "0D 00 0A 00" in each location that you want a line break to appear.
Note You can use Group Policy to set the registry entry to REG_EXPAND_SZ for a string that does not contain line breaks in the binary data. However, if you want the string to contain line breaks, edit the string, export the "0D 00 0A 00" values as an .REG file, and then deploy the .REG file. To do this, use Group Policy to run a startup, shutdown, logon, and logoff script.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
File information

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates
Additional file information
Properties

Article ID: 2808693 - Last Review: Feb 12, 2014 - Revision: 1

Windows 8, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 Foundation, Windows Server 2012 Foundation, Windows Server 2012 Foundation, Windows Server 2012 Foundation, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard

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