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Rfc2898DeriveBytes Constructor (String, Byte[], Int32)

Initializes a new instance of the Rfc2898DeriveBytes class using a password, a salt, and number of iterations to derive the key.

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

public Rfc2898DeriveBytes(
	string password,
	byte[] salt,
	int iterations


Type: System.String
The password used to derive the key.
Type: System.Byte[]
The key salt used to derive the key.
Type: System.Int32
The number of iterations for the operation.


The specified salt size is smaller than 8 bytes or the iteration count is less than 1.


The password or salt is null.

The salt size must be 8 bytes or larger and the iteration count must be greater than zero. The minimum recommended number of iterations is 1000.

RFC 2898 includes methods for creating a key and initialization vector (IV) from a password and salt. You can use PBKDF2, a password-based key derivation function, to derive keys using a pseudo-random function that allows keys of virtually unlimited length to be generated. The Rfc2898DeriveBytes class can be used to produce a derived key from a base key and other parameters. In a password-based key derivation function, the base key is a password and the other parameters are a salt value and an iteration count.

For more information about PBKDF2, see RFC 2898, "PKCS #5: Password-Based Cryptography Specification Version 2.0," available on the Request for Comments Web site. See section 5.2, "PBKDF2," for complete details.

Security noteSecurity Note

Never hard-code a password within your source code. Hard-coded passwords can be retrieved from an assembly by using the Ildasm.exe (MSIL Disassembler), by using a hexadecimal editor, or by simply opening up the assembly in a text editor such as Notepad.exe.

The following code example uses the Rfc2898DeriveBytes class to create two identical keys for the TripleDES class. It then encrypts and decrypts some data using the keys.

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

public class rfc2898test
    // Generate a key k1 with password pwd1 and salt salt1.
    // Generate a key k2 with password pwd1 and salt salt1.
    // Encrypt data1 with key k1 using symmetric encryption, creating edata1.
    // Decrypt edata1 with key k2 using symmetric decryption, creating data2.
    // data2 should equal data1.

    private const string usageText = "Usage: RFC2898 <password>\nYou must specify the password for encryption.\n";
    public static void Main(string[] passwordargs)
        //If no file name is specified, write usage text.
        if (passwordargs.Length == 0)
            string pwd1 = passwordargs[0];
            // Create a byte array to hold the random value. 
            byte[] salt1 = new byte[8];
            using (RNGCryptoServiceProvider rngCsp = new RNGCryptoServiceProvider())
                // Fill the array with a random value.

            //data1 can be a string or contents of a file.
            string data1 = "Some test data";
            //The default iteration count is 1000 so the two methods use the same iteration count.
            int myIterations = 1000;
                Rfc2898DeriveBytes k1 = new Rfc2898DeriveBytes(pwd1, salt1, myIterations);
                Rfc2898DeriveBytes k2 = new Rfc2898DeriveBytes(pwd1, salt1);
                // Encrypt the data.
                TripleDES encAlg = TripleDES.Create();
                encAlg.Key = k1.GetBytes(16);
                MemoryStream encryptionStream = new MemoryStream();
                CryptoStream encrypt = new CryptoStream(encryptionStream, encAlg.CreateEncryptor(), CryptoStreamMode.Write);
                byte[] utfD1 = new System.Text.UTF8Encoding(false).GetBytes(data1);

                encrypt.Write(utfD1, 0, utfD1.Length);
                byte[] edata1 = encryptionStream.ToArray();

                // Try to decrypt, thus showing it can be round-tripped.
                TripleDES decAlg = TripleDES.Create();
                decAlg.Key = k2.GetBytes(16);
                decAlg.IV = encAlg.IV;
                MemoryStream decryptionStreamBacking = new MemoryStream();
                CryptoStream decrypt = new CryptoStream(decryptionStreamBacking, decAlg.CreateDecryptor(), CryptoStreamMode.Write);
                decrypt.Write(edata1, 0, edata1.Length);
                string data2 = new UTF8Encoding(false).GetString(decryptionStreamBacking.ToArray());

                if (!data1.Equals(data2))
                    Console.WriteLine("Error: The two values are not equal.");
                    Console.WriteLine("The two values are equal.");
                    Console.WriteLine("k1 iterations: {0}", k1.IterationCount);
                    Console.WriteLine("k2 iterations: {0}", k2.IterationCount);
            catch (Exception e)
                Console.WriteLine("Error: ", e);


.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.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.