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Logon using RDP


The Notakey Credential Provider (NtkCp) is a Windows plugin, which extends the logon UI with a new mechanism, which injects Notakey 2FA in the normal logon scenario.

Technical Summary

NtkCp consists of 2 components:

The credential provider provides a username and password input fields. The provided username is sent to the Notakey API, to request approval on the user’s smartphone.

If the username is not found (i.e. the user does not exist or has not been onboarded on the Notakey server), the login attempt will fail with a message.

If the username is found, and the attempt is denied, the logon attempt will fail with an error.

If the user approves the logon attempt, then the provided username and password are processed as they would normally. If the entered password is incorrect, then the logon attempt will fail with a message.

The CLSID for the credential provider is 77E5F42E-B280-4219-B130-D48BB3932A04.

System Requirements

The credential provider requires .NET v4.5, and a supported version of the Windows operating system.

OS Type Minimum Version
Workstation Windows 8
Server Windows Server 2012

Installation Instructions

Download and run MSI installer package. If installer has been just downloaded, Windows Defender will not allow installation. To resolve this allow running of installer in file properties.

This script will create a new system service (Notakey Windows Credential Service), and register the credential provider in the registry.

Uninstall Instructions

To remove the provider from the system, run uninstaller from “Add or remove programs”. Please remmeber that if you have disabled other ways to authenticate you will need to restore at least one other credential provider.

Upgrade Instructions

Upgrade is performed by installing the newer version over the previous version. If you need to install older version, you will have to uninstall the newer version, as Windows installer will not allow installation of older version. Be sure to back up registry settings before uninstall, as any locally edited registry entries will be removed.


Configuring the API Endpoint

After installation, the background service must be configured to connect to the desired Notakey API endpoint.

This is done by provisioning defined registry keys.

Below is an example of configuration in registry editor exported format. You can save the text to file with *.reg extension and provision the registry by importing the text file with regedit.

These keys can also be provisioned by Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy, that allows targeting individual machines in domain.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


"MessageDescription"="Proceed as {0} on server {1}?"

Description of configuration options

Name Default Description
ServiceURL <none> API endpoint URL. Has to end with /api/
ServiceID <none> Service ID as displayed in NAS dashboard Service -> Settings
ClientID <none> NtkAS API client ID
ClientSecret <none> NtkAS API client secret
MessageTtlSeconds 30 The validity duration of auth request
MessageActionTitle Windows login Title for auth request
MessageDescription Do you wish to authenticate user {0} on computer {1}? The message body of auth request
AuthCreateTimeoutSecs 10 The duration which WCP waits for response from NAS API endpoint for new auth request generation. This value cannot exceed 100 seconds
AuthWaitTimeoutSecs 30 The time during which auth request has to be processed. This value cannot exceed 100 seconds and has to be aligned with MessageTtlSeconds

Disabling Other Ways to Authenticate

Each credential provider on a system can be used on its own. Installing and activating NtkCp does not disable the default ways to authenticate (e.g. via a simple username/password).

To prevent users circumventing the more secure Notakey credential provider, other providers need to be disabled.

To do this:

  • open local Group Policy editor
  • navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Logon
  • find the policy Exclude credential providers on the right side
  • right click Exclude credential providers, click Edit, click Enabled and enter all the credential provider identifiers (CLSID) (comma-separated), which are to be excluded during authentication
  • click OK to save the changes.

Non-domain Workstations

If changing group policy is impossible (e.g. if the workstation runs Windows Home edition, or is not a part of a domain), then you can still disable credential providers by editing the registry manually.

The registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Authentication > Credential Providers lists all the available credential providers on the local system.

Right click on a credential provider’s CLSID (which should be disabled), and add a new DWORD (32-bit) Value with the name Disabled and value 1.

This provider will be excluded from future login screens.

Determining Provider CLSID

One way to determine the CLSID of a credential provider, is to authenticate yourself using it.

Then open the Registry Editor, and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Authentication > LogonUI.

There will be a key named LastLoggedOnProvider, which will contain the CLSID value of the provider in question.

You may then use this CLSID to disable this specific provider.

Known Provider CLSIDs (Windows 10)

This is a non-exhaustive reference of credential providers and their respective CLSID values on Windows 10.

Some of these values may be the same on other Windows versions.

NtkCp {77E5F42E-B280-4219-B130-D48BB3932A04}
Smartcard Reader Selection Provider {1b283861-754f-4022-ad47-a5eaaa618894}
Smartcard WinRT Provider {1ee7337f-85ac-45e2-a23c-37c753209769}
PicturePasswordLogonProvider {2135f72a-90b5-4ed3-a7f1-8bb705ac276a}
GenericProvider {25CBB996-92ED-457e-B28C-4774084BD562}
PasswordProvider {60b78e88-ead8-445c-9cfd-0b87f74ea6cd}
PasswordProvider\LogonPasswordReset {8841d728-1a76-4682-bb6f-a9ea53b4b3ba}
FaceCredentialProvider {8AF662BF-65A0-4D0A-A540-A338A999D36F}
Smartcard Credential Provider {8FD7E19C-3BF7-489B-A72C-846AB3678C96}
Smartcard Pin Provider {94596c7e-3744-41ce-893e-bbf09122f76a}
WinBio Credential Provider {BEC09223-B018-416D-A0AC-523971B639F5}
IrisCredentialProvider {C885AA15-1764-4293-B82A-0586ADD46B35}
PINLogonProvider {cb82ea12-9f71-446d-89e1-8d0924e1256e}
NGC Credential Provider {D6886603-9D2F-4EB2-B667-1971041FA96B}
WLIDCredentialProvider {F8A0B131-5F68-486c-8040-7E8FC3C85BB6}

Network Connectivity

The background service will attempt to connect to its specified Notakey endpoint. By default this is port TCP/443 towards NtkAS management API. Valid SSL scertificate is required for connection to work.

There are no expected inbound connections.

Log Files

The credential provider does not perform any logging.

However, the background service will create log files in the package’s NotakeyBGService folder.


This file will contain information about errors.


This file will contain informational output without errors.


This file contains information regarding service startup / stop.

Status Messages

The logon UI will provide a status message, which reflects the status of the background service.

The status will be re-checked every 10 seconds. Upon failure, the status check interval will become progressively larger (exponential backoff).

Service Status: health-check request timed out. Is the background service running?

This message means that the background service is not running, or there is a permission problem, which blocks the logon UI from communicating with it, using named pipes.

Double-check if the service is started, and if its identity is not restricted from using named pipes.

Service Status: service can not connect to API. Check network connectivity and API parameters.

The background service is operational, but the API endpoint is not reachable.

Double-check network connectivity, firewall rules and the API endpoint URL.

Service Status: API call timed out.

The background service is operational, and the API endpoint was reachable at some point, but not anymore.

Double-check network connectivity, and if the Notakey server can be reached.

Service Status: error (<error message>)

This is a generic error message for unexpected issues.


Does NtkCp send the locally entered password to a remote server?

No, only the username is sent to the Notakey API. If using password caching feature, password is encrypted with secure encryption method and the key is stored in NtkAS service user profile and the cypher is stored locally in registry. Encryption key is safely disposed after registration and can be retrieved only after successful authentication session.

Does NtkCp perform any username transormations, before sending it to the Notakey API?

No, the username is sent as-is.

Does NtkCp work with local users or domain users?

NtkCp works with both local and domain users. The entered username must match the username that has been onboarded in the Notakey Dashboard.

Can NtkCp be used in an environment that requires smartcard logon?

No, NtkCp is a proxy for the normal username/password logon method.

Can’t the users choose a different credential method, and sidestep Notakey authentication?

If other credential providers are enabled, the users will be able to use them and sidestep Notakey authentication.

To mitigate this, you can disable other credential providers.

Can users use safe mode to sidestep the Notakey credential provider?

Yes, in safe mode, the Notakey credential provider can be avoided. The system will fallback to the default system credential providers.

Can this be used to protect remote servers?

NtkCp can be used together with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

I have an issue, when Network Level Access (NLA) is enabled


Why am I prompted to authenticate twice (over Remote Desktop Protocol)

This can happen, if Network Level Authentication (NLA) is enabled.

This behavior is by Microsoft’s design, and custom credential providers can not circumvent it. For the rationale, see RDC and Custom Credential Providers on the Windows SDK Team blog.

A workaround is to disable NLA on the client connection, and allow clients without NLA on the server.

For instructions on how to disable NLA, see: How can I turn off Network Level Access for Remote Desktop connections?.

How can I turn off Network Level Access for Remote Desktop connections?

For Hosts

For RD Session Hosts, see this Microsoft Technet article: Configure Network Level Authentication for Remote Desktop Services Connections.

The entry Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication must NOT be checked.

Example of the required RDP server settings

For Clients

On Remote Desktop Clients, you need to modify the Remote Desktop connection file (with extension .rdp).

Open this file, and add the following setting:


When accessing a remote server, the Notakey login option fails

If Network Level Authentication (NLA) is enabled, then the Remote Desktop Client will present a client-side pre-authentication dialog.

This dialog might display the Notakey option, if:

  • the Notakey Credential Provider is used to log in to the client computer.

If Notakey is not used to access the client computer, the Notakey credential provider should not be present in the NLA pre-authentication dialog box.

NLA prevents client-side credential providers (including Notakey) to comply with NLA - only the built-in password and smartcard credential providers will work.

To enforce Notakey multi-factor authentication in these situations, you have 2 options:

Why is the Notakey logon option missing, when accessing a remote server via RDP?

If Network Level Authentication (NLA) is enabled, users will be prompted locally for either their smartcard, or their username/password credentials.

This is by design and can not be changed.

However, if other credential providers are disabled on the remote server, then after the initial authentication, a second logon UI will be presented, where the user will be able to use the Notakey credential provider.

How to disable display of last logged on user

By default display of last logged on username is enabled. This setting is governed by group policy setting and can be adjusted by editing Group Policy setting “Interactive Logon: Do not display last user name” in your domain or altering Windows Registry entry HKLM > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System > DontDisplayLastUsername REG_DWORD to value 1.