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SymmetricAlgorithm.Clear Method

Releases all resources used by the SymmetricAlgorithm class.

Namespace:  System.Security.Cryptography
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

'Declaration
Public Sub Clear

Note that when using derived classes, it is not enough, from a security perspective, to simply force a garbage collection after you have finished using the object. You must explicitly call the Clear method on the object to zero out any sensitive data within the object before it is released. Note that garbage collection does not zero out the contents of collected objects but simply marks the memory as available for reallocation. Thus the data contained within a garbage collected object may still be present in the memory heap in unallocated memory. In the case of cryptographic objects, this data could contain sensitive information such as key data or a block of plain text.

All cryptographic classes in the .NET Framework that hold sensitive data implement a Clear method. When called, the Clear method overwrites all sensitive data within the object with zeros and then releases the object so that it can be safely garbage collected. When the object has been zeroed and released, you should then call the Dispose method with the disposing parameter set to True to dispose of all managed and unmanaged resources associated with the object.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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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