This document uses the following terms:
Active Directory: The Windows implementation of a general-purpose directory service, which uses LDAP as its primary access protocol. Active Directory stores information about a variety of objects in the network such as user accounts, computer accounts, groups, and all related credential information used by Kerberos [MS-KILE]. Active Directory is either deployed as Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) or Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), which are both described in [MS-ADOD]: Active Directory Protocols Overview.
certificate: A certificate is a collection of attributes and extensions that can be stored persistently. The set of attributes in a certificate can vary depending on the intended usage of the certificate. A certificate securely binds a public key to the entity that holds the corresponding private key. A certificate is commonly used for authentication and secure exchange of information on open networks, such as the Internet, extranets, and intranets. Certificates are digitally signed by the issuing certification authority (CA) and can be issued for a user, a computer, or a service. The most widely accepted format for certificates is defined by the ITU-T X.509 version 3 international standards. For more information about attributes and extensions, see [RFC3280] and [X509] sections 7 and 8.
certificate template: A list of attributes that define a blueprint for creating an X.509 certificate. It is often referred to in non-Microsoft documentation as a "certificate profile". A certificate template is used to define the content and purpose of a digital certificate, including issuance requirements (certificate policies), implemented X.509 extensions such as application policies, key usage, or extended key usage as specified in [X509], and enrollment permissions. Enrollment permissions define the rules by which a certification authority (CA) will issue or deny certificate requests. In Windows environments, certificate templates are stored as objects in the Active Directory and used by Microsoft enterprise CAs.
certification authority (CA): A third party that issues public key certificates. Certificates serve to bind public keys to a user identity. Each user and certification authority (CA) can decide whether to trust another user or CA for a specific purpose, and whether this trust should be transitive. For more information, see [RFC3280].
client-side extension GUID (CSE GUID): A GUID that enables a specific client-side extension on the Group Policy client to be associated with policy data that is stored in the logical and physical components of a Group Policy Object (GPO) on the Group Policy server, for that particular extension.
common name (CN): A string attribute of a certificate that is one component of a distinguished name (DN). In Microsoft Enterprise uses, a CN must be unique within the forest where it is defined and any forests that share trust with the defining forest. The website or email address of the certificate owner is often used as a common name. Client applications often refer to a certification authority (CA) by the CN of its signing certificate.
computer-scoped Group Policy Object path: A scoped Group Policy Object (GPO) path that ends in "\Machine".
data recovery agent (DRA): A logical entity corresponding to an asymmetric key pair, which is configured as part of Encrypting File System (EFS) administrative policy by an administrator. Whenever an EFS file is created or modified, it is also automatically configured to give authorized access to all DRAs in effect at that time.
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 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 220.127.116.11 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 18.104.22.168.2 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].
EFSR: Encrypting File System Remote (EFSRPC) Protocol.
elliptic curve cryptography (ECC): A public-key cryptosystem that is based on high-order elliptic curves over finite fields. For more information, see [IEEE1363].
Encrypting File System (EFS): The name for the encryption capability of the NTFS file system. When a file is encrypted using EFS, a symmetric key known as the file encryption key (FEK) is generated and the contents of the file are encrypted with the FEK. For each user or data recovery agent (DRA) that is authorized to access the file, a copy of the FEK is encrypted with that user's or DRA's public key and is stored in the file's metadata. For more information about EFS, see [MSFT-EFS].
globally unique identifier (GUID): A term used interchangeably with universally unique identifier (UUID) in Microsoft protocol technical documents (TDs). Interchanging the usage of these terms does not imply or require a specific algorithm or mechanism to generate the value. Specifically, the use of this term does not imply or require that the algorithms described in [RFC4122] or [C706] must be used for generating the GUID. See also universally unique identifier (UUID).
Group Policy Object (GPO): A collection of administrator-defined specifications of the policy settings that can be applied to groups of computers in a domain. Each GPO includes two elements: an object that resides in the Active Directory for the domain, and a corresponding file system subdirectory that resides on the sysvol DFS share of the Group Policy server for the domain.
Group Policy server: A server holding a database of Group Policy Objects (GPOs) that can be retrieved by other machines. The Group Policy server must be a domain controller (DC).
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP): The primary access protocol for Active Directory. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is an industry-standard protocol, established by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which allows users to query and update information in a directory service (DS), as described in [MS-ADTS]. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol can be either version 2 [RFC1777] or version 3 [RFC3377].
NT file system (NTFS): A proprietary Microsoft file system. For more information, see [MSFT-NTFS].
page file or paging file: A file that is used by operating systems for managing virtual memory.
registry: A local system-defined database in which applications and system components store and retrieve configuration data. It is a hierarchical data store with lightly typed elements that are logically stored in tree format. Applications use the registry API to retrieve, modify, or delete registry data. The data stored in the registry varies according to the version of the operating system.
registry policy file: A file associated with a Group Policy Object (GPO) that contains a set of registry-based policy settings.
Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA): A system for public key cryptography. RSA is specified in [RFC8017].
security identifier (SID): An identifier for security principals that is used to identify an account or a group. Conceptually, the SID is composed of an account authority portion (typically a domain) and a smaller integer representing an identity relative to the account authority, termed the relative identifier (RID). The SID format is specified in [MS-DTYP] section 2.4.2; a string representation of SIDs is specified in [MS-DTYP] section 2.4.2 and [MS-AZOD] section 22.214.171.124.
self-signed certificate: A certificate that is signed by its creator and verified using the public key contained in it. Such certificates are also termed root certificates.
SHA-1: An algorithm that generates a 160-bit hash value from an arbitrary amount of input data, as described in [RFC3174]. SHA-1 is used with the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) in the Digital Signature Standard (DSS), in addition to other algorithms and standards.
smart card: A portable device that is shaped like a business card and is embedded with a memory chip and either a microprocessor or some non-programmable logic. Smart cards are often used as authentication tokens and for secure key storage. Smart cards used for secure key storage have the ability to perform cryptographic operations with the stored key without allowing the key itself to be read or otherwise extracted from the card.
tool extension GUID or administrative plug-in GUID: A GUID defined separately for each of the user policy settings and computer policy settings that associates a specific administrative tool plug-in with a set of policy settings that can be stored in a Group Policy Object (GPO).
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).
X.509: An ITU-T standard for public key infrastructure subsequently adapted by the IETF, as specified in [RFC3280].
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.