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Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 2 by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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Encrypting File System Security

As covered in Chapter 9, BitLocker encrypts and protects volumes from offline attacks, but once a system is booted BitLocker’s job is done. The Encrypting File System (EFS) protects individual files and directories from other authenticated users on a system. When choosing how to protect your data, it is not an “either/or” choice between BitLocker and EFS; each provides protection from specific—and nonoverlapping—threats. Together BitLocker and EFS provide a “defense in depth” for the data on your system.

The paradigm used by EFS is to encrypt files and directories using symmetric encryption (a single key that is used for encrypting and decrypting the file). The symmetric encryption key is then encrypted using asymmetric ...

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