Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 222028 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 3.0



Digest Authentication is new to Windows 2000 and Internet Information Services 5.0. This form of authentication encrypts the user's password information, and provides a mechanism for aiding in the prevention of some common server attacks (such as a replay attack).

In order to use Digest Authentication in Windows 2000, the server must have access to an Active Directory Server that is set up for Digest Authentication. For information, please refer to the following IIS documentation:
http://localhost/iishelp/iis/htm/core/iiauths.htm#enabledigest (http://localhost/iishelp/iis/htm/core/iiauths.htm#enabledigest)
If the server running IIS is not a Active Directory Server, or does not have access to the Active Directory, this authentication will not work. For more information about making the server a Directory Server, see the Windows 2000 documentation.

If the server is already a Directory Server, perform the following steps:
  1. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Open the domain that you want to administer.
  3. Double-click the user name that you want to use with Digest Authentication.
  4. In Account Options, select Store password using reversible encryption.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Reset the user's password now in order for the encryption to take place. To reset the user's password, right-click the user name in the directory and click Reset Password.
  7. Click OK.
In order for Internet Information Services 5.0 to use Digest Authentication, you must select it in Internet Service Manager. To do this, perform the following steps:
  1. Open Internet Services Manager.
  2. Expand the Web server that you want to make the change in, and then open the Web site's properties.
  3. Click the Directory Security tab.
  4. Under Anonymous Access and Authentication Control, click Edit.
  5. Select Digest Authentication from the list, and then click OK.

More information

For more information about Digest Authentication, see RFC2069, or the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) document found at the following Web address: (
kbinfo KB222028
Retired KB ArticleRetired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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