Essay: Encryption in NTFS

Essay: Encryption in NTFS
April 11, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: Encryption in NTFS Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

One of the goals for designing Windows NT was to provide an operating system which would provide access control and security to its users, a function that other file systems such as FAT lacked. One of the shortcomings in all versions of Windows NT was that a malicious user was always able to access the partition using a low-level disk utility. Since the NTFS structures were not encrypted, security could be compromised without much effort.

To overcome this problem, Microsoft introduced an encryption capability with NTFS 50, called Encrypting File System or EFS. Using EFS, it is possible to write data to the disk after encrypting it.  This prevents the user from gaining access to the partition by making the data incomprehensible without the use of decryption key.

The EFS uses a fairly complex mechanism for encrypting data in order to provide maximum security. It uses a public-private keys algorithm, with 128-bit security key in North America and 40-bit key internationally. The data is encrypted using the public key which is known to everyone, however, each entity accessing the file system possess a private key as well, which is then used to decrypt the data (Kozierok).

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