Need a simple question answered

This is a discussion on Need a simple question answered within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; My son has asked me to post a question and I'm not really sure if this is the right place ...

  1. #1
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    Need a simple question answered

    My son has asked me to post a question and I'm not really sure if this is the right place as this is all way over my head. If I have posted in the wrong place I am deeply sorry and ask that you all please forgive me. The question my son needs answered is this....

    "If I put an encryption key inside of a dll will it be safe? Is there any way for anyone to reverse engineer the dll to acquire the encryption key? If there is, then what would be the safest way to hard code an encryption key into a program without it being acquired?"

    I hope someone here can help us and I really thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Yes, as the key is contained in the dll it is possible to extract it with a simple hex editor or more likely, using an automated application.

    The simple answer is that you cannot hard code an encryption key into a dll or application in such a manner that it cannot be extracted. You can take steps to obfuscate it, but ultimately anyone that has access to the application can reverse it. Hardware based encryption is really the only feasible option to keep keys secure.
    Last edited by abachler; 09-17-2009 at 10:30 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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