Microsoft Corporation will improve a portion of the Windows NT security subsystem when it releases its NTLM 2.0 hash protocol later this year. Currently, Windows NT uses two different user authentication systems, NTLM and LanManager hash, to verify user identities when they login to the system. NTLM 2.0 hash protocol is designed to secure the notoriously unsafe LanManager hash protocol, which makes it easier for hackers to attack NT.
"If you have pure NT 4 environment you are OK; you can restrict the NT passwords to the strong passwords," said Windows NT security team product manager Karan Khanna. "But if you have Windows 95 or 98, then you also need the LANMAN passwords. With this enhancement you can just use the strong NT passwords. People who are worried about LANMAN passwords are going to be able to upgrade."
When Windows NT 5.0 is finally released, newer forms of security authentication will becomes available.
"NT 5 is going to have KERBEROS as the default protocol, public key certificates, and NTLM, V2," said Khanna