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CHAPTER 36 WINDOWS INTEGRATION
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Key: HKEY CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\VWDExpress\10.0\General, Value Name: OnEnvironmentStartup, Value: 5 Press enter to finish
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In addition to the six root key properties, the Registry class provides static methods for reading and writing registry values, and these provide the most convenient way of getting and setting the value of specific registry entries. Listing 36-10 provides a demonstration. Listing 36-10. Reading and Modifying the Registry Using the Registry Class using System; using Microsoft.Win32; class Listing 10 { static void Main(string[] args) { // define the key name string keyName = @"HKEY CURRENT USER\Software\Apress\Introduction to C#"; // set a value for the key Registry.SetValue(keyName, "Windows Integration Example", "Test Value"); // read the value back string value = (string)Registry.GetValue(keyName, "Windows Integration Example", "Default Value"); // print out the value Console.WriteLine("Value: {0}", value); // wait for input before exiting Console.WriteLine("Press enter to finish"); Console.ReadLine(); } } The SetValue method takes the name of the key, the name of the value, and the value itself as parameters. The GetValue method retrieves a value and takes the name of the key, the name of the value, and a default value to use whether a value has not been previously set. In Listing 36-10, I set and then get the same value. Note that when using these static methods, you can specify the key name fully, including the root key, in this case HKEY CURRENT USER. Compiling and running Listing 36-10 produces the following output:
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CHAPTER 36 WINDOWS INTEGRATION
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Value: Test Value Press enter to finish
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Using the Windows Registry Editor, we can see the key that Listing 36-10 created, as shown by Figure 36-11.
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Figure 36-11. Viewing a key with the Registry Editor
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Summary
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In this chapter, we looked at the ways in which the .NET Framework Class Library provides support for accessing key features of the Windows operating system. Using C#, we have been able to use the event log, gain elevated privileges, create and install a Windows service, and make use of the registry. These features are not directly required by C# or .NET, but they can be very useful in making a C# program better fit into the Windows ecosystem.
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C H A P T E R 37
Cryptography and Security
When the .NET Framework was first released, it contained an extensive set of security and cryptographic features. Of particular note was the ability to apply strict controls over the use of your .NET assemblies through a sophisticated policy system. The security features were very comprehensive and so complicated that pretty much no one ever used them. With .NET 4, almost all the security features have been deprecated and are no longer supported, which leaves only the cryptographic features. Fortunately, the same attention to detail that went into the abandoned policy system was also applied to the cryptographic support, which means there is a comprehensive range of algorithms and support classes available for the C# programmer. In this chapter, we will take a look at how the cryptography features can be used to address common security concerns, including encryption (used to protect data from unwanted eyes), hash codes (used to ensure that data has not been modified), and techniques for generating random data securely and keeping the content of strings hidden. I have a warning, though, before we start. The security and cryptography features of any programming language have two fatal flaws: the programmer and the user. It is incredibly easy to create a program that appears to have solved a security problem but doesn t either because it has been badly implemented or because it is badly used. As a general rule, cryptographic features are used to transform a problem so that it might be easier to solve. For example, imagine you and I need to send data to one another that no one else should be able to read. An obvious approach would be for you to encrypt the data and for me to decrypt it. This is like putting a password on the data, where the password is known as the encryption key. For the most commonly used kinds of encryption, I need to use the same password to decrypt the data as you used to encrypt it. And so the problem has changed from how to exchange data in private to how to exchange the key securely. If you e-mail it to me, would the same people who want to read our data be able to read the key and decrypt the data anyway Can you trust me not to write the key on my whiteboard in a public office If we meet in person, are bad people likely to be listening to us A-ha, you say what about public key cryptography Doesn t that solve the problem And, of course, the answer is that it doesn t; it just changes it in a different way. Public key cryptography means you encrypt the data using a key that can be safely shared with everyone, while I decrypt it using a key that is known only to me. It relies on some very clever math. The problem becomes making sure that you are using my public key and verifying that it is me you are exchanging the data with, ensuring that my key hasn t been stolen, and so on. I could continue, but you get the idea. Cryptographic features must be used with caution. Simply exploring the cryptographic features of .NET is very different from using them to solve a real-world problem. This chapter will help you do the former, but a lot of careful thought and learning is required to do the latter. There are no recent books that I would recommend for .NET security, but for older titles I suggest either my own book, written with Allen Jones, called Programing .NET Security and published by O Reilly, or Jason Bock s book .NET Security, published by Apress. Table 37-1 provides the summary for this chapter.
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