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Marshal.SecureStringToCoTaskMemUnicode Method

Copies the contents of a managed SecureString object to a block of memory allocated from the unmanaged COM task allocator.

Namespace:  System.Runtime.InteropServices
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public static IntPtr SecureStringToCoTaskMemUnicode(
	SecureString s
)

Parameters

s
Type: System.Security.SecureString

The managed object to copy.

Return Value

Type: System.IntPtr
The address, in unmanaged memory, where the s parameter was copied to, or 0 if a null object was supplied.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentNullException

The s parameter is null.

NotSupportedException

The current computer is not running Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or later.

OutOfMemoryException

There is insufficient memory available.

The SecureStringToCoTaskMemUnicode method is useful for custom marshaling or when mixing managed and unmanaged code. Because this method allocates the unmanaged memory required for a string, always free the memory by calling the ZeroFreeCoTaskMemUnicode method. The characters of the string are copied as Unicode characters.

Notes to Callers

This method is supported only on computers running Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or later.

The following example uses the SecureStringToCoTaskMemUnicode method to marshal and decrypt the contents of a SecureString object to a block of unmanaged memory. It then uses the ZeroFreeCoTaskMemUnicode method to zero out and dispose the unmanaged block.

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Security;
using System.Security.Principal;
using System.Text;

namespace SecureStringExample
{

    class MarshalExample
    {


        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            IntPtr unmanagedRef = IntPtr.Zero;

            try
            {
                // Ask the user for a password.
                Console.Write("Please enter your password:");

                SecureString passWord = GetPassword();

                Console.WriteLine("Copying and decrypting the string to unmanaged memory...");

                // Copy the Secure string to unmanaged memory (and decrypt it).
                unmanagedRef = Marshal.SecureStringToCoTaskMemUnicode(passWord);


            }
            catch (Exception e)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(e.Message);
            }
            finally
            {
                if (unmanagedRef != IntPtr.Zero)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("Zeroing out unmanaged memory...");

                    Marshal.ZeroFreeCoTaskMemUnicode(unmanagedRef);
                }

            }

            Console.WriteLine("Done.");

            Console.ReadLine();


        }

        public static SecureString GetPassword()
        {
            SecureString password = new SecureString();

            // get the first character of the password
            ConsoleKeyInfo nextKey = Console.ReadKey(true);

            while (nextKey.Key != ConsoleKey.Enter)
            {
                if (nextKey.Key == ConsoleKey.Backspace)
                {
                    if (password.Length > 0)
                    {
                        password.RemoveAt(password.Length - 1);

                        // erase the last * as well
                        Console.Write(nextKey.KeyChar);
                        Console.Write(" ");
                        Console.Write(nextKey.KeyChar);
                    }
                }
                else
                {
                    password.AppendChar(nextKey.KeyChar);
                    Console.Write("*");
                }

                nextKey = Console.ReadKey(true);
            }

            Console.WriteLine();

            // lock the password down
            password.MakeReadOnly();
            return password;
        }
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

  • SecurityCriticalAttribute 

    requires full trust for the immediate caller. This member cannot be used by partially trusted or transparent code.

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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