User ID password encryption key

How would I get the private encryption key for a user's password in a windows 2008 AD domain?
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Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get the user's password or are you trying to get the encryption key that Windows uses to encrypt the password? This might be a moot question since neither can be obtained. Imagine the security holes if you could?
jimmylew52Author Commented:
Here is what has been requested of me for an active directory user:

uid,password(encrypted) and key
Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
OK, well you're out of luck because that information does not exist. The UID is easy to obtain but Active Directory does not store passwords. It stores a one-way hash of the password. Authentication is performed by hashing the user's input and then checking if the hash matches the stored hash. Hashes cannot be reversed. Even if you were able to obtain the key used to create the hash, the only thing you could do with it is perform a brute force attack to try and guess the password.

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Passwords aren't encrypted with a key per-se in AD.  They are hashed.  Which is a totally different concept.  And authentication is handled through the various windows APIs or protocols available (preferably Kerberos v5 in a modern Windows AD domain.)
jimmylew52Author Commented:
Thanks for the confirmation of what I expected.
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
The only thing with hashes is that they may have collisions.
(different passphrases that have the same outcome.  This is where rainbow tables are used for).
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