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Protected storage (PStore) uses a lower-quality cryptographic function when the system locale is set to French (France) on a Microsoft Windows-based computer

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Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

SYMPTOMS
Protected storage (PStore) uses a lower-quality cryptographic function when the system locale is set to French (France) on a Microsoft Windows-based computer. Data Protection API (DPAPI) functions are not affected.
CAUSE
This issue occurs because Microsoft implemented the PStore feature in Windows during the 1990s when French law prohibited the supply of products that contain encryption capabilities without prior authorization from the French government. The French review process was very detailed and would have led to a significant delay for the release of Windows in France. To make sure that the product was available to the French market in a synchronized manner with all locales, Microsoft chose to disable the encryption of Protected Storage by using a single, fixed encryption key for the French locale. With the relaxation of French encryption regulations late in 1999, the fixed encryption key for PStore is no longer necessary for the French locale. However, the fixed encryption key has not been removed from PStore.
RESOLUTION
To resolve the issue in which PStore uses a lower-quality cryptographic function when the system locale is set to French (France), install this update. This update brings the protection level of the French locale to parity with all localized versions of Windows. The specific French local check is removed from PStore, and the contents are automatically reencrypted with a new, random key.

Notes
  • If you uninstall this update and then reinstall this update, the data that is written to the PStore in the duration between uninstall and the reinstall remains encrypted by using the fixed encryption key. The data is not automatically reencrypted with a new random key until and unless it is read again after the reinstallation.
  • The use of PStore in general has been deprecated, and developers are encouraged to use the stronger data protection that is provided by the CryptProtectData function and by the CryptUnprotectData function.

    For information about the CryptProtectData function, please visit the following MSDN Web site: For information about the CryptUnprotectData function, please visit the following MSDN Web site:
The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

Update for Windows XP (KB955417)
DownloadDownload the WindowsXP-KB955417-x86-ENU.exe package now.

Update for Windows 2000 (KB955417)
DownloadDownload the Windows2000-KB955417-x86-ENU.EXE package now.

Update for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB955417)
DownloadDownload the WindowsServer2003.WindowsXP-KB955417-x64-ENU.exe package now.

Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB955417)
DownloadDownload the WindowsServer2003-KB955417-x86-ENU.exe package now.

Update for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (KB955417)
DownloadDownload the WindowsServer2003.WindowsXP-KB955417-x64-ENU.exe package now.

Update for Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems (KB955417)
DownloadDownload the WindowsServer2003-KB955417-ia64-ENU.exe package now.

Release Date: August 4, 2008

For more 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 prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
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Article ID: 955417 - Last Review: 08/22/2008 16:53:31 - Revision: 2.0

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
  • atdownload kbqfe kbexpertiseinter KB955417
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