.NET And Triple DES Security
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by Kay Lee
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In Conclusion

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Many programmers out there in the code wise community, and those that are in your everyday office life, may state that implementing a strong encryption is a very difficult chore.  It is a difficult task, but with a little ground work, any difficult task becomes easy.  We've covered most of the aspects of the DES and Triple DES encryption.  In a total of 350 lines of code including comments, we've implemented one of the most widely-used encryption algorithms available. 

Key points to remember:

  1. Triple DES is as secure as your Private-Key and Initialization Vector.
  2. It is best to research the different types of encryption algorithms to ensure your choice is the right one for the job.
  3. The DES-base algorithms have been broken in the past.  However, realistically, Triple DES is more than enough in terms of encryption strength for most of our applications.
  4. NEVER lose the Private-Key, Initialization Vector, and Cipher Mode combination per encryption.  Without all three parts absolutely correct, you may never decrypt the original data.
  5. The example source may work as is but may require some alterations to fit your applications needs.
  6. Read, read, read.  Test, fail, test again.  Always try what you've read, and continue to keep your knowledge up to date. 

Salted MD5, Triple DES, Rijndael (AES), Blowfish, and RSA are common encryption algorithms used in the programming world today to safely store sensitive information.  Prior to jumping on a technology, it's to your best interest to know the overall details of each encryption algorithm including their flaws before deciding on the exact one you wish to implement.

For further reading on cryptography with the .NET Framework, you may visit the following sites.

  1. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/cpqstart/html/cpsmpnetsamples-howtocryptography.asp?frame=true
  2. http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/clr/cryptofaq.htm
  3. http://www.ftponline.com/vsm/2003_03/magazine/features/vandersypen/
  4. http://www.developer.com/net/net/article.php/1548761
  5. http://csrc.nist.gov/CryptoToolkit/aes/rijndael/
  6. http://labmice.techtarget.com/security/crypto.htm
  7. http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid14_gci968714,00.html
  8. http://www.itl.nist.gov/fipspubs/fip46-2.htm
  9. http://www.laynetworks.com/des.htm (JavaScript source)
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_cipher_modes_of_operation
  11. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/cpref/html/frlrfsystemsecuritycryptographytripledesclasstopic.asp?frame=truehttp://www.tropsoft.com/strongenc/des.htm

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User Comments

Title: Hai   
Name: mangala
Date: 2008-07-22 7:54:10 AM
Title: Public Key   
Name: Joe Grant
Date: 2006-12-08 12:12:50 PM
How would one go about create a public key to share with someone so they can decrypt without sharing the private key?
Title: Excellent coverage of TripleDES   
Name: Sam
Date: 2005-08-02 9:11:49 PM
Great stuff... simple but with enough background information to understand the important elements eg. PK, IV, Cipher etc. I will be using parts of it in my enterprise application.
Title: triple des   
Name: Josh
Date: 2004-10-13 10:12:45 PM
we've been looking at different encryption methods in class and lectures have been so boring. i decided to search around and found your article to be a great practical implementation. i wish my class would provide us with pratical examples like this. Thanks.
Title: Thanks   
Name: Kay Lee
Date: 2004-10-13 6:42:03 PM
Thanks. I'm glad you like it, and I hope the source works well for you.
Title: Triple DES Encryption   
Name: Brian Chiasson
Date: 2004-10-12 3:35:52 PM
Excellent article. I have been looking for a couple of hours for something on encryption. It shed light on the subject and provided me with useful code for my intranet application. Thanks a million...

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