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Cryptographic Services

Public networks such as the Internet do not provide a means of secure communication between entities. Communication over such networks is susceptible to being read or even modified by unauthorized third parties. In addition to file encryption and encryption on a local disk, cryptography helps you create encrypted channels of communication over otherwise insecure channels, providing data integrity and authentication.

The classes in the .NET Framework cryptography namespace manage many details of cryptography for you. Some are wrappers for the unmanaged Microsoft CryptoAPI, while others are purely managed implementations. You do not need to be an expert in cryptography to use these classes. When you create a new instance of one of the encryption algorithm classes, keys are autogenerated for ease of use, and default properties are as safe and secure as possible.

In This Section

  • Cryptography Overview
    Provides an introduction to key concepts in cryptography, such as asymmetric cryptography, symmetric cryptography, digital signatures, and cryptographic hashes.
  • .NET Framework Cryptography Model
    Describes how cryptography is implemented in the base class library.
  • Cryptographic Tasks
    Describes how to perform specific cryptographic tasks using the base class library.