On Windows 10 v1803 (i.e. April 2018 update) when importing a PFX, an option like

[ ] Protect private key using virtualization-based security (non-exportable)

appears on the import wizard. What is the underlying technology and it's mechanics from security perspective?

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1 Answer 1


Virtualized-Based Security (VBS) uses TPM module to store keys. The key is accessible from within OS, but won't be available if OS is changed. More details on VBS: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/device-experiences/oem-vbs

  • Does VBS prevent keys to be exported in cleartext as a regular smart card could do?. Feb 2, 2020 at 17:46
  • Yes, VBS does this.
    – Crypt32
    Feb 2, 2020 at 20:33

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