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Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

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  • Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

    Hello everyone.. I kind of got myself into a slight jam here and I could use any assistance you guys can offer me...

    On my home PC I set up my "My Documents" folder to be encrypted through Windows EFS. The version is Vista Business. Well the drive crashed and I moved the data over to my external drive. Within the My Documents folder is the backed up EFS key! Well the key was also encrypted because it was placed inside the My Documents folder, so I cannot open the key to back it up on my laptop, also running Vista Business.

    Any help out there?? Anyone know how to crack the encryption? Ive looked all over and have exausted my search efforts on google. So I am seeking it here.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

    Couple of Google results:

    http://www.crackpassword.com/products/prs/mswin/efs/ should do it...

    By far, the most frequent problem with EFS occurs when EFS encryption keys and/or recovery keys aren't archived. If keys aren't backed up, they cannot be replaced when lost. If keys cannot be used or replaced, data can be lost. If Windows is reinstalled (perhaps as the result of a disk crash) the keys are destroyed. If a user's profile is damaged, then keys are destroyed. In these, or in any other cases in which keys are damaged or lost and backup keys are unavailable, then encrypted files cannot be decrypted. The encryption keys are bound to the user account, and a new iteration of the operating system means new user accounts. A new user profile means new user keys. If keys are archived, or exported, they can be imported to a new account. If a revocation agent for the files exists, then that account can be used to recover the files. However, in many cases in which keys are destroyed, both user and revocation keys are absent and there is no backup, resulting in lost data.


    http://www.minasi.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18222
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

      Hello Gareth,

      I appreciate the feedback however, I have already tried that and it did not work for me. Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

        Well I'm afraid you lost your data.
        Encrypted is encrypted and it should be very bad if it's possible to breach it.

        Unless you're in a domain environment of course. In that case their might be a DRA which is per default the administrator.
        Last edited by Dumber; 1st December 2008, 14:48.
        Marcel
        Technical Consultant
        Netherlands
        http://www.phetios.com
        http://blog.nessus.nl

        MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
        "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

        "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
        "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

          Although I do agree that encrypted means just that... there are programs out there, like the one aforementioned, that state they can restore those files. If there are programs like that then the encryption has already been broken and can be broken in the future.

          I have tried the above mentioned product and it didn't work however, that is not to say that another program might work or there is someone out there that may know of another way...

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

            It is correct to say that any encryption system can be broken, using brute force, given sufficient time and computing power. If however you have tried various methods and have not been able to recover your data, then you are probably going to have to seek assistance from professionals, which will be very expensive.

            Do you not take backups?
            Gareth Howells

            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

              I doubt if the program works.
              This because it's searching for the keys.
              Marcel
              Technical Consultant
              Netherlands
              http://www.phetios.com
              http://blog.nessus.nl

              MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
              "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

              "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
              "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

                Some articles for future reference:

                http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223316/en-us

                http://support.microsoft.com/kb/241201/en-us

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

                  I retried the program just to check for luck, but of course as expected it does not work.

                  I appreciate the articles. I know how to use the EFS very well.. I just made a terrible mistake. I decrypted the folder however, I suppose I didn't check the circle for all sub directories to be included, so all the folders are decrypted but the data within them is not. BIG mistake! It is also unfortunate that the Backed up Key for decrypting is in that folder as well and also encrypted!

                  So I guess I am out of a lot of data...

                  Thanks! Valuable lesson learned!!! BACK UP KEY SOMEWHERE ELSE!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

                    Told you that I already had doubts if it would work.
                    I believe it's searching for the keys and then recovering using that key.
                    Marcel
                    Technical Consultant
                    Netherlands
                    http://www.phetios.com
                    http://blog.nessus.nl

                    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                    "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                    "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

                      Hello , may you try to software recovery program such as "restorer 2000". It may rescue your datas, i know efs encrypt your data not your disk level.So you may be available to access your data which is de-encrypt format. You should make this on your pc. Already you think "you lost" maybe it works , i know its low posibility.Take it easy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

                        Thks Guru , i will test the same today and i will update. Soryy for the mistake i made on the forum .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Encrypted File System Issues - EFS HELP!

                          4 years ago I lost my EFS keys. I still have the data, encrypted just in case in the future some new technology is able to crack them. In 4 years nothing has come close.

                          Your only chance is to recover the crashed drive. You can send it to Ontrack and pay $1000 if the data is important enough.

                          Comment

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