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Protected storage

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Protected Storage provides applications with an interface to store user data that must be kept secure or free from modification.


Units of stored data are called Items. The structure and content of the stored data are opaque to the Protected Storage system. Items are uniquely identified by the combination of a Key, Type, Subtype, and Name. The Key is a constant that specifies whether the Item is global to this computer or associated only with this user. The Name is a string, generally chosen by the user. Type and Subtype are GUIDs, generally specified by the application. Additional information about Types and Subtypes is kept in the system registry and include attributes such as Display Name and UI hints. For Subtypes, the parent Type is fixed and included in the system registry as an attribute. The Type group Items is used for a common purpose: for example, Payment or Identification. The Subtype group Items share a common data format.


PSPR shows all information stored in Protected Storage, including (but not limited to):


l        passwords to web sites accessed with Internet Explorer

l        passwords to ftp sites accessed with Internet Explorer (stored as plaintext in Windows 2000, and encrypted on Windows XP and up; to decrypt, right-click on appropriate Item)

l        Internet Explorer AutoComplete information

l        passwords to IE items to synchronize

l        newsgroup accounts/passwords in Outlook Express

l        MSN passwords


It also allows you to edit and remove any items (including binary) in Protected storage, but please use that feature with great care (creating a backup copy of the Registry is strongly recommended).


By default, PSPR shows the Protected Storage that belongs to the current user; to see information available to All users in the system, uncheck the Protected storage of the current user option.

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