This document uses the following terms:
Active Directory: A general-purpose network directory service. Active Directory also refers to the Windows implementation of a directory service. Active Directory stores information about a variety of objects in the network. Importantly, user accounts, computer accounts, groups, and all related credential information used by the Windows implementation of Kerberos are stored in Active Directory. Active Directory is either deployed as Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) or Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS). [MS-ADTS] describes both forms. For more information, see [MS-AUTHSOD] section 22.214.171.124.2, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) versions 2 and 3, Kerberos, and DNS.
AV pair: An attribute/value pair. The name of some attribute, along with its value. AV pairs in NTLM have a structure specifying the encoding of the information stored in them.
challenge: A piece of data used to authenticate a user. Typically a challenge takes the form of a nonce.
code page: An ordered set of characters of a specific script in which a numerical index (code-point value) is associated with each character. Code pages are a means of providing support for character sets and keyboard layouts used in different countries. Devices such as the display and keyboard can be configured to use a specific code page and to switch from one code page (such as the United States) to another (such as Portugal) at the user's request.
connection oriented NTLM: A particular variant of NTLM designed to be used with connection oriented remote procedure call (RPC).
cyclic redundancy check (CRC): An algorithm used to produce a checksum (a small, fixed number of bits) against a block of data, such as a packet of network traffic or a block of a computer file. The CRC is a broad class of functions used to detect errors after transmission or storage. A CRC is designed to catch random errors, as opposed to intentional errors. If errors might be introduced by a motivated and intelligent adversary, a cryptographic hash function should be used instead.
domain: A set of users and computers sharing a common namespace and management infrastructure. At least one computer member of the set must act as a domain controller (DC) and host a member list that identifies all members of the domain, as well as optionally hosting the Active Directory service. The domain controller provides authentication (2) of members, creating a unit of trust for its members. Each domain has an identifier that is shared among its members. For more information, see [MS-AUTHSOD] section 126.96.36.199 and [MS-ADTS].
domain controller (DC): The service, running on a server, that implements Active Directory, or the server hosting this service. The service hosts the data store for objects and interoperates with other DCs to ensure that a local change to an object replicates correctly across all DCs. When Active Directory is operating as Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), the DC contains full NC replicas of the configuration naming context (config NC), schema naming context (schema NC), and one of the domain NCs in its forest. If the AD DS DC is a global catalog server (GC server), it contains partial NC replicas of the remaining domain NCs in its forest. For more information, see [MS-AUTHSOD] section 188.8.131.52.2 and [MS-ADTS]. When Active Directory is operating as Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), several AD LDS DCs can run on one server. When Active Directory is operating as AD DS, only one AD DS DC can run on one server. However, several AD LDS DCs can coexist with one AD DS DC on one server. The AD LDS DC contains full NC replicas of the config NC and the schema NC in its forest. The domain controller is the server side of Authentication Protocol Domain Support [MS-APDS].
forest: One or more domains that share a common schema and trust each other transitively. An organization can have multiple forests. A forest establishes the security and administrative boundary for all the objects that reside within the domains that belong to the forest. In contrast, a domain establishes the administrative boundary for managing objects, such as users, groups, and computers. In addition, each domain has individual security policies and trust relationships with other domains.
identify level token: A security token resulting from authentication that represents the authenticated user but does not allow the service holding the token to impersonate that user to other resources.
Kerberos: An authentication system that enables two parties to exchange private information across an otherwise open network by assigning a unique key (called a ticket) to each user that logs on to the network and then embedding these tickets into messages sent by the users. For more information, see [MS-KILE].
key: In cryptography, a generic term used to refer to cryptographic data that is used to initialize a cryptographic algorithm. Keys are also sometimes referred to as keying material.
LMOWF: The result generated by the LMOWF function.
LMOWF(): A one-way function used to generate a key based on the user's password.
Message Authentication Code (MAC): A message authenticator computed through the use of a symmetric key. A MAC algorithm accepts a secret key and a data buffer, and outputs a MAC. The data and MAC can then be sent to another party, which can verify the integrity and authenticity of the data by using the same secret key and the same MAC algorithm.
nonce: A number that is used only once. This is typically implemented as a random number large enough that the probability of number reuse is extremely small. A nonce is used in authentication protocols to prevent replay attacks. For more information, see [RFC2617].
NTOWF: A general-purpose function used in the context of an NTLM authentication protocol, as specified in [MS-NLMP], which computes a one-way function of the user's password. For more information, see [MS-NLMP] section 6. The result generated by the NTOWF() function.
original equipment manufacturer (OEM) character set: A character encoding used where the mappings between characters is dependent upon the code page configured on the machine, typically by the manufacturer.
remote procedure call (RPC): A context-dependent term commonly overloaded with three meanings. Note that much of the industry literature concerning RPC technologies uses this term interchangeably for any of the three meanings. Following are the three definitions: (*) The runtime environment providing remote procedure call facilities. The preferred usage for this meaning is "RPC runtime". (*) The pattern of request and response message exchange between two parties (typically, a client and a server). The preferred usage for this meaning is "RPC exchange". (*) A single message from an exchange as defined in the previous definition. The preferred usage for this term is "RPC message". For more information about RPC, see [C706].
response key: A key generated by a one-way function from the name of the user, the name of the user's domain, and the password. The function depends on which version of NTLM is being used. The response key is used to derive the key exchange key.
Security Support Provider Interface (SSPI): A Windows-specific API implementation that provides the means for connected applications to call one of several security providers to establish authenticated connections and to exchange data securely over those connections. This is the Windows equivalent of Generic Security Services (GSS)-API, and the two families of APIs are on-the-wire compatible.
sequence number: In the NTLM protocol, a sequence number can be explicitly provided by the application protocol, or generated by NTLM. If generated by NTLM, the sequence number is the count of each message sent, starting with 0.
session key: A relatively short-lived symmetric key (a cryptographic key negotiated by the client and the server based on a shared secret). A session key's lifespan is bounded by the session to which it is associated. A session key has to be strong enough to withstand cryptanalysis for the lifespan of the session.
session security: The provision of message integrity and/or confidentiality through use of a session key.
Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium that represents almost all of the written languages of the world. The Unicode standard [UNICODE5.0.0/2007] provides three forms (UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32) and seven schemes (UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-16 BE, UTF-16 LE, UTF-32, UTF-32 LE, and UTF-32 BE).
MAY, SHOULD, MUST, SHOULD NOT, MUST NOT: These terms (in all caps) are used as defined in [RFC2119]. All statements of optional behavior use either MAY, SHOULD, or SHOULD NOT.