High Encryption Pack Does Not Protect Windows 2000 Private Keys

This article was previously published under Q260219
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
After you install Windows 2000 High Encryption Pack on a Windows 2000-based computer that has the Certificate Services component installed and is using an Enhanced RSA Commercial Service Provider (CSP), the certificate authority's private key (or any other private key) is only protected by a 40-bit RC4 encryption algorithm.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack
The following files are available for download from the MicrosoftDownload Center:
For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help to prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

There are two files in the patch package, a new version of Psbase.dll, the software module that performs encryption and decryption of the Protected Store and a tool, Keymigrt.exe, which decrypts and re-encrypts all items currently in the Protected Store.

While the patch ensures that any future data added to the Protected Store is encrypted using the strongest cryptography available, it cannot upgrade the protection on items that already exist. The Keymigrt tool is used for this function. It decrypts what is already in the Protected Store, and then re-encrypts it using stronger cryptography. This is also true for the Service Pack. The service pack provides the patch but does not re-encrypt the Protected Store. To do this you need to download the hotfix, extract the files and run the keymigrt.exe tool.

The tool is not extracted when you install the hotfix. To extract the tool, run the hotfix package using the -x option. This causes the patch files to be extracted into a folder of your choice. Keymigrt.exe is one of the files in the patch. Please remember that the -x option does not install the patch.

NOTE: The tool cannot be run unless the patch has already been installed. On any post-Service Pack 1 (SP1) Windows 2000-based computer, you do not have to run the Keymigrt.exe tool if:
  • You installed the operating system from slipstreamed media. This means that SP1 or later was applied to the installation folder before you installed the operating system from that folder.

  • The High Encryption Pack was installed before any keys were stored. For example, keys are stored when you install CertSvc or request certificates or when you enable SSL on IIS.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 1.
More information
For related information about this problem, please visit the following Microsoft Web site: For additional security-related information about Microsoft products, please visit the following Microsoft Web site: For additional information about how to install Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes at the same time, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
249149 Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Hotfixes

Article ID: 260219 - Last Review: 11/02/2013 22:50:00 - Revision: 9.0

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

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