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I have two code examples that I wrote for best practices encrypting a string that I'm looking for feedback both in terms of best practices and security. They are both using authenticated encryption. One is using the bouncy castle API to do AES-GCMand the other is for the limitation of only using the built in .NET API so it does encryption then authentication separately.

Each example has the ideal API of passing the key as a byte array (because it was randomly generated).

However each has a less secure helper method that uses a string password to derive the bytes for the key using PBKDF2 with salt and iterations. The salt is passed in the clear using the authenticated payload.

Bouncy Castle AES-GCM

/*
 * This work (Modern Encryption of a String C#, by James Tuley), 
 * identified by James Tuley, is free of known copyright restrictions.
 * https://gist.github.com/4336842
 * http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/ 
 */

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Text;
using Org.BouncyCastle.Crypto;
using Org.BouncyCastle.Crypto.Engines;
using Org.BouncyCastle.Crypto.Generators;
using Org.BouncyCastle.Crypto.Modes;
using Org.BouncyCastle.Crypto.Parameters;
using Org.BouncyCastle.Security;
namespace Encryption
{

  public static class AESGCM
  {
    private static readonly SecureRandom Random = new SecureRandom();

    //Preconfigured Encryption Parameters
    public static readonly int NonceBitSize = 128;
    public static readonly int MacBitSize = 128;
    public static readonly int KeyBitSize = 256;

    //Preconfigured Password Key Derivation Parameters
    public static readonly int SaltBitSize = 128;
    public static readonly int Iterations = 10000;
    public static readonly int MinPasswordLength = 12;


    /// <summary>
    /// Helper that generates a random new key on each call.
    /// </summary>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static byte[] NewKey()
    {
      var key = new byte[KeyBitSize / 8];
      Random.NextBytes(key);
      return key;
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Encryption And Authentication (AES-GCM) of a UTF8 string.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="secretMessage">The secret message.</param>
    /// <param name="key">The key.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayload">Optional non-secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Encrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <exception cref="System.ArgumentException">Secret Message Required!;secretMessage</exception>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Adds overhead of (Optional-Payload + BlockSize(16) + Message +  HMac-Tag(16)) * 1.33 Base64
    /// </remarks>
    public static string SimpleEncrypt(string secretMessage, byte[] key, byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(secretMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      var plainText = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(secretMessage);
      var cipherText = SimpleEncrypt(plainText, key, nonSecretPayload);
      return Convert.ToBase64String(cipherText);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Decryption & Authentication (AES-GCM) of a UTF8 Message
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="encryptedMessage">The encrypted message.</param>
    /// <param name="key">The key.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayloadLength">Length of the optional non-secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>Decrypted Message</returns>
    public static string SimpleDecrypt(string encryptedMessage, byte[] key, int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(encryptedMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      var cipherText = Convert.FromBase64String(encryptedMessage);
      var plaintext = SimpleDecrypt(cipherText, key, nonSecretPayloadLength);
      return Encoding.UTF8.GetString(plaintext);
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Encryption And Authentication (AES-GCM) of a UTF8 String
    /// using key derived from a password (PBKDF2).
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="secretMessage">The secret message.</param>
    /// <param name="password">The password.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayload">The non secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Encrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Significantly less secure than using random binary keys.
    /// Adds additional non secret payload for key generation parameters.
    /// </remarks>
    public static string SimpleEncryptWithPassword(string secretMessage, string password,
                             byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(secretMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      var plainText = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(secretMessage);
      var cipherText = SimpleEncryptWithPassword(plainText, password, nonSecretPayload);
      return Convert.ToBase64String(cipherText);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Decryption and Authentication (AES-GCM) of a UTF8 message
    /// using a key derived from a password (PBKDF2)
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="encryptedMessage">The encrypted message.</param>
    /// <param name="password">The password.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayloadLength">Length of the non secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Decrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <exception cref="System.ArgumentException">Encrypted Message Required!;encryptedMessage</exception>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Significantly less secure than using random binary keys.
    /// </remarks>
    public static string SimpleDecryptWithPassword(string encryptedMessage, string password,
                             int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(encryptedMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      var cipherText = Convert.FromBase64String(encryptedMessage);
      var plaintext = SimpleDecryptWithPassword(cipherText, password, nonSecretPayloadLength);
      return Encoding.UTF8.GetString(plaintext);
    }

    public static byte[] SimpleEncrypt(byte[] secretMessage, byte[] key, byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      //User Error Checks
      if (key == null || key.Length != KeyBitSize / 8)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Key needs to be {0} bit!", KeyBitSize), "key");

      if (secretMessage == null || secretMessage.Length == 0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      //Non-secret Payload Optional
      nonSecretPayload = nonSecretPayload ?? new byte[] { };

      //Using random nonce large enough not to repeat
      var nonce = new byte[NonceBitSize / 8];
      Random.NextBytes(nonce, 0, nonce.Length);

      var cipher = new GcmBlockCipher(new AesFastEngine());
      var parameters = new AeadParameters(new KeyParameter(key), MacBitSize, nonce, nonSecretPayload);
      cipher.Init(true, parameters);

      //Generate Cipher Text With Auth Tag
      var cipherText = new byte[cipher.GetOutputSize(secretMessage.Length)];
      var len = cipher.ProcessBytes(secretMessage, 0, secretMessage.Length, cipherText, 0);
      cipher.DoFinal(cipherText, len);

      //Assemble Message
      using (var combinedStream = new MemoryStream())
      {
        using (var binaryWriter = new BinaryWriter(combinedStream))
        {
          //Prepend Authenticated Payload
          binaryWriter.Write(nonSecretPayload);
          //Prepend Nonce
          binaryWriter.Write(nonce);
          //Write Cipher Text
          binaryWriter.Write(cipherText);
        }
        return combinedStream.ToArray();
      }
    }

    public static byte[] SimpleDecrypt(byte[] encryptedMessage, byte[] key, int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      //User Error Checks
      if (key == null || key.Length != KeyBitSize / 8)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Key needs to be {0} bit!", KeyBitSize), "key");

      if (encryptedMessage == null || encryptedMessage.Length == 0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      using (var cipherStream = new MemoryStream(encryptedMessage))
      using (var cipherReader = new BinaryReader(cipherStream))
      {
        //Grab Payload
        var nonSecretPayload = cipherReader.ReadBytes(nonSecretPayloadLength);

        //Grab Nonce
        var nonce = cipherReader.ReadBytes(NonceBitSize / 8);

        var cipher = new GcmBlockCipher(new AesFastEngine());
        var parameters = new AeadParameters(new KeyParameter(key), MacBitSize, nonce, nonSecretPayload);
        cipher.Init(false, parameters);

        //Decrypt Cipher Text
        var cipherText = cipherReader.ReadBytes(encryptedMessage.Length - nonSecretPayloadLength - nonce.Length);
        var plainText = new byte[cipher.GetOutputSize(cipherText.Length)];  

        try
        {
          var len = cipher.ProcessBytes(cipherText, 0, cipherText.Length, plainText, 0);
          cipher.DoFinal(plainText, len);

        }
        catch (InvalidCipherTextException)
        {
          //Return null if it doesn't authenticate
          return null;
        }

        return plainText;
      }

    }

    public static byte[] SimpleEncryptWithPassword(byte[] secretMessage, string password, byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      nonSecretPayload = nonSecretPayload ?? new byte[] {};

      //User Error Checks
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(password) || password.Length < MinPasswordLength)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Must have a password of at least {0} characters!", MinPasswordLength), "password");

      if (secretMessage == null || secretMessage.Length == 0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      var generator = new Pkcs5S2ParametersGenerator();

      //Use Random Salt to minimize pre-generated weak password attacks.
      var salt = new byte[SaltBitSize / 8];
      Random.NextBytes(salt);

      generator.Init(
        PbeParametersGenerator.Pkcs5PasswordToBytes(password.ToCharArray()),
        salt,
        Iterations);

      //Generate Key
      var key = (KeyParameter)generator.GenerateDerivedMacParameters(KeyBitSize);

      //Create Full Non Secret Payload
      var payload = new byte[salt.Length + nonSecretPayload.Length];
      Array.Copy(nonSecretPayload, payload, nonSecretPayload.Length);
      Array.Copy(salt,0, payload,nonSecretPayload.Length, salt.Length);

      return SimpleEncrypt(secretMessage, key.GetKey(), payload);
    }

    public static byte[] SimpleDecryptWithPassword(byte[] encryptedMessage, string password, int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      //User Error Checks
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(password) || password.Length < MinPasswordLength)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Must have a password of at least {0} characters!", MinPasswordLength), "password");

      if (encryptedMessage == null || encryptedMessage.Length == 0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      var generator = new Pkcs5S2ParametersGenerator();

      //Grab Salt from Payload
      var salt = new byte[SaltBitSize / 8];
      Array.Copy(encryptedMessage, nonSecretPayloadLength, salt, 0, salt.Length);

      generator.Init(
        PbeParametersGenerator.Pkcs5PasswordToBytes(password.ToCharArray()),
        salt,
        Iterations);

      //Generate Key
      var key = (KeyParameter)generator.GenerateDerivedMacParameters(KeyBitSize);

      return SimpleDecrypt(encryptedMessage, key.GetKey(), salt.Length + nonSecretPayloadLength);
    }
  }
}

.NET Built-in Encrypt(AES)-Then-MAC(HMAC)

/*
 * This work (Modern Encryption of a String C#, by James Tuley), 
 * identified by James Tuley, is free of known copyright restrictions.
 * https://gist.github.com/4336842
 * http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/ 
 */

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

namespace Encryption
{
  public static class AESThenHMAC
  {
    private static readonly RandomNumberGenerator Random = RandomNumberGenerator.Create();

    //Preconfigured Encryption Parameters
    public static readonly int BlockBitSize = 128;
    public static readonly int KeyBitSize = 256;

    //Preconfigured Password Key Derivation Parameters
    public static readonly int SaltBitSize = 64;
    public static readonly int Iterations = 10000;
    public static readonly int MinPasswordLength = 12;

    /// <summary>
    /// Helper that generates a random key on each call.
    /// </summary>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static byte[] NewKey()
    {
      var key = new byte[KeyBitSize / 8];
      Random.GetBytes(key);
      return key;
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Encryption (AES) then Authentication (HMAC) for a UTF8 Message.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="secretMessage">The secret message.</param>
    /// <param name="cryptKey">The crypt key.</param>
    /// <param name="authKey">The auth key.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayload">(Optional) Non-Secret Payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Encrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <exception cref="System.ArgumentException">Secret Message Required!;secretMessage</exception>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Adds overhead of (Optional-Payload + BlockSize(16) + Message-Padded-To-Blocksize +  HMac-Tag(32)) * 1.33 Base64
    /// </remarks>
    public static string SimpleEncrypt(string secretMessage, byte[] cryptKey, byte[] authKey,
                       byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(secretMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      var plainText = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(secretMessage);
      var cipherText = SimpleEncrypt(plainText, cryptKey, authKey, nonSecretPayload);
      return Convert.ToBase64String(cipherText);
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Authentication (HMAC) then Decryption (AES) for a secrets UTF8 Message.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="encryptedMessage">The encrypted message.</param>
    /// <param name="cryptKey">The crypt key.</param>
    /// <param name="authKey">The auth key.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayloadLength">Length of the non secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Decrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <exception cref="System.ArgumentException">Encrypted Message Required!;encryptedMessage</exception>
    public static string SimpleDecrypt(string encryptedMessage, byte[] cryptKey, byte[] authKey,
                       int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(encryptedMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      var cipherText = Convert.FromBase64String(encryptedMessage);
      var plainText = SimpleDecrypt(cipherText, cryptKey, authKey, nonSecretPayloadLength);
      return Encoding.UTF8.GetString(plainText);
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Encryption (AES) then Authentication (HMAC) of a UTF8 message
    /// using Keys derived from a Password (PBKDF2).
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="secretMessage">The secret message.</param>
    /// <param name="password">The password.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayload">The non secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Encrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <exception cref="System.ArgumentException">password</exception>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Significantly less secure than using random binary keys.
    /// Adds additional non secret payload for key generation parameters.
    /// </remarks>
    public static string SimpleEncryptWithPassword(string secretMessage, string password,
                             byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(secretMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      var plainText = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(secretMessage);
      var cipherText = SimpleEncryptWithPassword(plainText, password, nonSecretPayload);
      return Convert.ToBase64String(cipherText);
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Simple Authentication (HMAC) and then Descryption (AES) of a UTF8 Message
    /// using keys derived from a password (PBKDF2). 
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="encryptedMessage">The encrypted message.</param>
    /// <param name="password">The password.</param>
    /// <param name="nonSecretPayloadLength">Length of the non secret payload.</param>
    /// <returns>
    /// Decrypted Message
    /// </returns>
    /// <exception cref="System.ArgumentException">Encrypted Message Required!;encryptedMessage</exception>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Significantly less secure than using random binary keys.
    /// </remarks>
    public static string SimpleDecryptWithPassword(string encryptedMessage, string password,
                             int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(encryptedMessage))
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      var cipherText = Convert.FromBase64String(encryptedMessage);
      var plainText = SimpleDecryptWithPassword(cipherText, password, nonSecretPayloadLength);
      return Encoding.UTF8.GetString(plainText);
    }

    public static byte[] SimpleEncrypt(byte[] secretMessage, byte[] cryptKey, byte[] authKey, byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      //User Error Checks
      if (cryptKey == null || cryptKey.Length != KeyBitSize / 8)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Key needs to be {0} bit!", KeyBitSize), "cryptKey");

      if (authKey == null || authKey.Length != KeyBitSize / 8)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Key needs to be {0} bit!", KeyBitSize), "authKey");

      if (secretMessage == null || secretMessage.Length < 1)
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      //non-secret payload optional
      nonSecretPayload = nonSecretPayload ?? new byte[] { };

      byte[] cipherText;
      byte[] iv;

      using (var aes = new AesManaged
      {
        KeySize = KeyBitSize,
        BlockSize = BlockBitSize,
        Mode = CipherMode.CBC,
        Padding = PaddingMode.PKCS7
      })
      {

        //Use random IV
        aes.GenerateIV();
        iv = aes.IV;

        using (var encrypter = aes.CreateEncryptor(cryptKey, iv))
        using (var cipherStream = new MemoryStream())
        {
          using (var cryptoStream = new CryptoStream(cipherStream, encrypter, CryptoStreamMode.Write))
          using (var binaryWriter = new BinaryWriter(cryptoStream))
          {
            //Encrypt Data
            binaryWriter.Write(secretMessage);
          }

          cipherText = cipherStream.ToArray();
        }

      }

      //Assemble encrypted message and add authentication
      using (var hmac = new HMACSHA256(authKey))
      using (var encryptedStream = new MemoryStream())
      {
        using (var binaryWriter = new BinaryWriter(encryptedStream))
        {
          //Prepend non-secret payload if any
          binaryWriter.Write(nonSecretPayload);
          //Prepend IV
          binaryWriter.Write(iv);
          //Write Ciphertext
          binaryWriter.Write(cipherText);
          binaryWriter.Flush();

          //Authenticate all data
          var tag = hmac.ComputeHash(encryptedStream.ToArray());
          //Postpend tag
          binaryWriter.Write(tag);
        }
        return encryptedStream.ToArray();
      }

    }

    public static byte[] SimpleDecrypt(byte[] encryptedMessage, byte[] cryptKey, byte[] authKey, int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {

      //Basic Usage Error Checks
      if (cryptKey == null || cryptKey.Length != KeyBitSize / 8)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("CryptKey needs to be {0} bit!", KeyBitSize), "cryptKey");

      if (authKey == null || authKey.Length != KeyBitSize / 8)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("AuthKey needs to be {0} bit!", KeyBitSize), "authKey");

      if (encryptedMessage == null || encryptedMessage.Length == 0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      using (var hmac = new HMACSHA256(authKey))
      {
        var sentTag = new byte[hmac.HashSize / 8];
        //Calculate Tag
        var calcTag = hmac.ComputeHash(encryptedMessage, 0, encryptedMessage.Length - sentTag.Length);
        var ivLength = (BlockBitSize / 8);

        //if message length is to small just return null
        if (encryptedMessage.Length < sentTag.Length + nonSecretPayloadLength + ivLength)
          return null;

        //Grab Sent Tag
        Array.Copy(encryptedMessage, encryptedMessage.Length - sentTag.Length, sentTag, 0, sentTag.Length);

        //Compare Tag with constant time comparison
        var compare = 0;
        for (var i = 0; i < sentTag.Length; i++)
          compare |= sentTag[i] ^ calcTag[i]; 

        //if message doesn't authenticate return null
        if (compare != 0)
          return null;

        using (var aes = new AesManaged
        {
          KeySize = KeyBitSize,
          BlockSize = BlockBitSize,
          Mode = CipherMode.CBC,
          Padding = PaddingMode.PKCS7
        })
        {

          //Grab IV from message
          var iv = new byte[ivLength];
          Array.Copy(encryptedMessage, nonSecretPayloadLength, iv, 0, iv.Length);

          using (var decrypter = aes.CreateDecryptor(cryptKey, iv))
          using (var plainTextStream = new MemoryStream())
          {
            using (var decrypterStream = new CryptoStream(plainTextStream, decrypter, CryptoStreamMode.Write))
            using (var binaryWriter = new BinaryWriter(decrypterStream))
            {
              //Decrypt Cipher Text from Message
              binaryWriter.Write(
                encryptedMessage,
                nonSecretPayloadLength + iv.Length,
                encryptedMessage.Length - nonSecretPayloadLength - iv.Length - sentTag.Length
              );
            }
            //Return Plain Text
            return plainTextStream.ToArray();
          }
        }
      }
    }

    public static byte[] SimpleEncryptWithPassword(byte[] secretMessage, string password, byte[] nonSecretPayload = null)
    {
      nonSecretPayload = nonSecretPayload ?? new byte[] {};

      //User Error Checks
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(password) || password.Length < MinPasswordLength)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Must have a password of at least {0} characters!", MinPasswordLength), "password");

      if (secretMessage == null || secretMessage.Length ==0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Secret Message Required!", "secretMessage");

      var payload = new byte[((SaltBitSize / 8) * 2) + nonSecretPayload.Length];

      Array.Copy(nonSecretPayload, payload, nonSecretPayload.Length);
      int payloadIndex = nonSecretPayload.Length;

      byte[] cryptKey;
      byte[] authKey;
      //Use Random Salt to prevent pre-generated weak password attacks.
      using (var generator = new Rfc2898DeriveBytes(password, SaltBitSize / 8, Iterations))
      {
        var salt = generator.Salt;

        //Generate Keys
        cryptKey = generator.GetBytes(KeyBitSize / 8);

        //Create Non Secret Payload
        Array.Copy(salt, 0, payload, payloadIndex, salt.Length);
        payloadIndex += salt.Length;
      }

      //Deriving separate key, might be less efficient than using HKDF, 
      //but now compatible with RNEncryptor which had a very similar wireformat and requires less code than HKDF.
      using (var generator = new Rfc2898DeriveBytes(password, SaltBitSize / 8, Iterations))
      {
        var salt = generator.Salt;

        //Generate Keys
        authKey = generator.GetBytes(KeyBitSize / 8);

        //Create Rest of Non Secret Payload
        Array.Copy(salt, 0, payload, payloadIndex, salt.Length);
      }

      return SimpleEncrypt(secretMessage, cryptKey, authKey, payload);
    }

    public static byte[] SimpleDecryptWithPassword(byte[] encryptedMessage, string password, int nonSecretPayloadLength = 0)
    {
      //User Error Checks
      if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(password) || password.Length < MinPasswordLength)
        throw new ArgumentException(String.Format("Must have a password of at least {0} characters!", MinPasswordLength), "password");

      if (encryptedMessage == null || encryptedMessage.Length == 0)
        throw new ArgumentException("Encrypted Message Required!", "encryptedMessage");

      var cryptSalt = new byte[SaltBitSize / 8];
      var authSalt = new byte[SaltBitSize / 8];

      //Grab Salt from Non-Secret Payload
      Array.Copy(encryptedMessage, nonSecretPayloadLength, cryptSalt, 0, cryptSalt.Length);
      Array.Copy(encryptedMessage, nonSecretPayloadLength + cryptSalt.Length, authSalt, 0, authSalt.Length);

      byte[] cryptKey;
      byte[] authKey;

      //Generate crypt key
      using (var generator = new Rfc2898DeriveBytes(password, cryptSalt, Iterations))
      {
        cryptKey = generator.GetBytes(KeyBitSize / 8);
      }
      //Generate auth key
      using (var generator = new Rfc2898DeriveBytes(password, authSalt, Iterations))
      {
        authKey = generator.GetBytes(KeyBitSize / 8);
      }

      return SimpleDecrypt(encryptedMessage, cryptKey, authKey, cryptSalt.Length + authSalt.Length + nonSecretPayloadLength);
    }
  }
}
share|improve this question
14  
As far as best practices go, I see a few offhand: 1. static public XXX is idiomatically written as public static XXX. 2. Since all your methods are static, the class should be made static as well to prevent (useless) instances from being created. 3. Are your bit size numbers near the top of the classes intended to be modified? If so, make them private and have public properties to access them. If not, make them const. –  Jesse C. Slicer Aug 21 '12 at 14:15
    
@JesseC.Slicer, all good points, I've made the changes. –  jbtule Aug 21 '12 at 14:55
5  
Looks snazzy. One more thing I just noticed: Rfc2898DeriveBytes inherits from a class which implements IDisposable in .NET 4 and beyond. So its use should be wrapped in a using block if you're targeting that version of the framework. .NET 2 (and 3.0/3.5), don't worry about it. –  Jesse C. Slicer Aug 21 '12 at 15:01
    
Take a look at the source code in effortlessencryption.codeplex.com Some of it may be of help –  Simon Hughes Jul 16 '13 at 14:38
2  
FYI: The person who provides an answer to this question can grab my +50 bounty. ;) –  e-sushi Nov 11 '13 at 12:09

2 Answers 2

As far as best practices go, I see a few offhand:

  1. static public XXX is idiomatically written as public static XXX.
  2. Since all your methods are static, the class should be made static as well to prevent (useless) instances from being created.
  3. Are your bit size numbers near the top of the classes intended to be modified? If so, make them private and have public properties to access them. If not, make them const.

One more thing I just noticed: Rfc2898DeriveBytes inherits from a class which implements IDisposable in .NET 4 and beyond. So its use should be wrapped in a using block if you're targeting that version of the framework. .NET 2 (and 3.0/3.5), don't worry about it.

share|improve this answer
  1. The bit sizes at the top should be public static const rather than public static readonly.
  2. Why are these classes static in the first place? I may have missed something but they should really be normal classes you can instantiate. Which leads to the next point.
  3. Both classes offer the same interface so you should define a common interface which both classes implement (which you can't do if they are static). This would allow a user to define a dependency on a ICryptoProvider for example which allows him to de/encrypt data without really having to care which implementation is used. It would also make unit tests easier at the same time.
  4. You repeat a lot of code when dividing the constant bit size definitions by 8. Consider adding a byte size definition as well like KeyByteSize, BlockByteSize, SaltByteSize which is calculated of the bit size. This would makes reading the code a bit easier on the eyes.
share|improve this answer
1  
I disagree with turning at least some of those into constants. Changing the number of iterations shouldn't require a rebuild of code using this library. –  CodesInChaos Aug 7 at 17:16
    
Sure, but in the original code they are readonly fields without a way to change them anyway - in this case const expresses that better. I guess selected values could be made configurable. –  ChrisWue Aug 7 at 21:31
2  
The difference is that with static readonly you only need to rebuild that particular library, with const you need to rebuild every project using it. Use public const for things that will never change (e.g. mathematical constants) and static readonly for configuration like values that merely describe what the library happens to use at the moment. –  CodesInChaos Aug 8 at 8:01

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