1

I am going through the CREATE SYMMETRIC KEY (Transact-SQL) page.

In there it says as a Caution

When a symmetric key is encrypted with a password instead of the public key of the database master key, the TRIPLE DES encryption algorithm is used. Because of this, keys that are created with a strong encryption algorithm, such as AES, are themselves secured by a weaker algorithm.

I do not understand the first part in bold and have a couple of questions.

  1. From my testing I do not see an option to encrypt a symmetric key with Database Master key.

  2. Isn't the Database master key a Symmetric key. What do they mean by public key of th database master key?

2

I believe you are correct and the docs need updating. Should probably read:

When a symmetric key is encrypted with a password instead of a certificate (or another key), the TRIPLE DES encryption algorithm is used to encrypt the password. Because of this, keys that are created with a strong encryption algorithm, such as AES, are themselves secured by a weaker algorithm.

docs.microsoft.com is all on GitHub, so you can propose doc changes.

I've submitted a pull request to update the language. You can follow it here: https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/sql-docs/pull/310

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