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MACTripleDES Class

Updated: February 2009

Computes a Message Authentication Code (MAC) using TripleDES for the input data CryptoStream.

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

public class MACTripleDES : KeyedHashAlgorithm

A MAC can be used to determine whether a message sent over an insecure channel has been tampered with, provided that the sender and receiver share a secret key. The sender computes the MAC for the original data, and sends both as a single message. The receiver recomputes the MAC on the received message, and checks that the computed MAC matches the transmitted MAC.

Any change to the data or the MAC will result in a mismatch, because knowledge of the secret key is required to change the message and reproduce the correct MAC. Therefore, if the codes match, the message is authenticated.

MACTripleDES uses a key of length 16 or 24 bytes, and produces a hash sequence of length 8 bytes.

The following example creates a MAC for a file named input.txt, which is located in the folder that contains the sample executable. The MAC and the original text are written to a file named encrypted.hsh in the same folder. The signed file is then read, and the MAC is calculated for the text portion of the file and compared to the MAC contained with the text.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Security.Cryptography;

public class MACTripleDESexample

    public static void Main(string[] Fileargs)
        string dataFile;
        string signedFile;
        //If no file names are specified, create them. 
        if (Fileargs.Length < 2)
            dataFile = @"text.txt";
            signedFile = "signedFile.enc";

            if (!File.Exists(dataFile))
                // Create a file to write to. 
                using (StreamWriter sw = File.CreateText(dataFile))
                    sw.WriteLine("Here is a message to sign");

            dataFile = Fileargs[0];
            signedFile = Fileargs[1];
            // Create a random key using a random number generator. This would be the 
            //  secret key shared by sender and receiver.
            byte[] secretkey = new Byte[24];
            //RNGCryptoServiceProvider is an implementation of a random number generator. 
            using (RNGCryptoServiceProvider rng = new RNGCryptoServiceProvider())
                // The array is now filled with cryptographically strong random bytes.

                // Use the secret key to sign the message file.
                SignFile(secretkey, dataFile, signedFile);

                // Verify the signed file
                VerifyFile(secretkey, signedFile);
        catch (IOException e)
            Console.WriteLine("Error: File not found", e);

    }  //end main 
    // Computes a keyed hash for a source file and creates a target file with the keyed hash 
    // prepended to the contents of the source file.  
    public static void SignFile(byte[] key, String sourceFile, String destFile)
        // Initialize the keyed hash object. 
        using (MACTripleDES hmac = new MACTripleDES(key))
            using (FileStream inStream = new FileStream(sourceFile, FileMode.Open))
                using (FileStream outStream = new FileStream(destFile, FileMode.Create))
                    // Compute the hash of the input file.
                    byte[] hashValue = hmac.ComputeHash(inStream);
                    // Reset inStream to the beginning of the file.
                    inStream.Position = 0;
                    // Write the computed hash value to the output file.
                    outStream.Write(hashValue, 0, hashValue.Length);
                    // Copy the contents of the sourceFile to the destFile. 
                    int bytesRead;
                    // read 1K at a time
                    byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
                        // Read from the wrapping CryptoStream.
                        bytesRead = inStream.Read(buffer, 0, 1024);
                        outStream.Write(buffer, 0, bytesRead);
                    } while (bytesRead > 0);
    } // end SignFile 

    // Compares the key in the source file with a new key created for the data portion of the file. If the keys  
    // compare the data has not been tampered with. 
    public static bool VerifyFile(byte[] key, String sourceFile)
        bool err = false;
        // Initialize the keyed hash object.  
        using (MACTripleDES hmac = new MACTripleDES(key))
            // Create an array to hold the keyed hash value read from the file.
            byte[] storedHash = new byte[hmac.HashSize / 8];
            // Create a FileStream for the source file. 
            using (FileStream inStream = new FileStream(sourceFile, FileMode.Open))
                // Read in the storedHash.
                inStream.Read(storedHash, 0, storedHash.Length);
                // Compute the hash of the remaining contents of the file. 
                // The stream is properly positioned at the beginning of the content,  
                // immediately after the stored hash value.
                byte[] computedHash = hmac.ComputeHash(inStream);
                // compare the computed hash with the stored value 

                for (int i = 0; i < storedHash.Length; i++)
                    if (computedHash[i] != storedHash[i])
                        err = true;
        if (err)
            Console.WriteLine("Hash values differ! Signed file has been tampered with!");
            return false;
            Console.WriteLine("Hash values agree -- no tampering occurred.");
            return true;

    } //end VerifyFile

} //end class

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

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

.NET Framework

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




February 2009

Replaced the example with a new example that round-trips a file and checks the text for tampering.

Customer feedback.

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