- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (September 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471381896
- ISBN-13: 978-0471381891
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,952,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cryptography for Visual Basic(r) : A Programmer's Guide to the Microsoft(r) CryptoAPI
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The Microsoft CryptoAPI can provide "strong," unbreakable encryption on the Windows platform. If you're a Visual Basic (VB) programmer, Richard Bondi's Cryptography for Visual Basic can put this powerful set of APIs within your reach. This title will serve as both an introduction to cryptography and a how-to with CryptoAPI by using the author's prebuilt library of COM objects.
The early part of this book tries hard to put the elements of today's public key encryption standards (like RSA) within the grasp of the VB programmer. You'll learn the basics of random-number generation, ciphers, keys, and the "protocols" behind today's encryption standards. Inevitably, these are written by using shorthand, such as, "Alice wants to send Bob a message." The author manages to make essential concepts in cryptography rather clear.
The next section here lays the foundation for working with the Microsoft CryptoAPI by presenting a number of useful strategies for passing (and returning) values to and from C from within VB, along with techniques for error handling and improved performance.
The heart of this text is the author's custom library of COM objects that "wrap" the underlying Microsoft CryptoAPI C calls for use from within VB. Subsequent chapters look at various areas of the CryptoAPI and the resulting COM objects. The author covers not only the assumptions and strategies of working with the CryptoAPI, but also the design choices that are made in his library. For those who are in a rush, the book provides sample code on how to use this library in your own VB applications in an appendix.
Today, security is a concern in any enterprise, so Cryptography for Visual Basic fills a useful niche. It explains the basics of encryption technologies, shows off how it's done on the Windows platform with the Microsoft CryptoAPI, and also makes it possible to call these APIs from within VB. If you have wondered how cryptography works, or how it's implemented in Windows, this tutorial can put you on the right track. --Richard Dragan
From the Back Cover
"This is essential reading for anyone who needs to understand Microsoft's CryptoAPI,its strengths and its limitations."-Bruce Schneier, author of Applied Cryptography and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, Inc.
With billions of dollars at stake,e-businesses must take the necessary steps to ensure privacy and protection for customer data. Microsoft's CryptoAPI provides Visual Basic programmers with strong cryptography to keep this data safe, but its internals have been a mystery until now. This book guides you through the process of accessing the powerful but tricky routines of Microsoft's cryptographic libraries. You'll find an in-depth introduction to modern cryptography and learn how to build cryptographic "modules" (COM objects) that can be used by any Visual Basic program. Best of all, the source code is included under an Open Source license so that you are free to use, modify, and distribute it, even commercially, without paying any fees. You can help enhance the code as part of the Open Source community. Providing much-needed insight on Microsoft's cryptography, this book will help you:
* Learn how modern cryptography works
* Find out how the Base Functions of the CryptoAPI work
* Discover how to call the API from Visual Basic
* Uncover deep Visual Basic tricks to write a powerful error handler
* Learn how to write the WCCO (Wiley CryptoAPI COM Objects) COM wrappers for the CryptoAPI
* Utilize several quality assurance tests for the WCCO
The CD-ROM includes:
* WCCO 1.0 Source Code and its Wiley Open Source License
* WCCO 1.0 Interface Guide and its Open Publication License
* WCCO Test Code
* CryptoAPI Container Manager
* Regasaurus program
Visit our Web site at www.wiley.com/compbooks/
Top customer reviews
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Bondi gets 4 1/2 stars, not five, and put a red flag up, for including the 'Regasaurus' program in the CD and touting it up in the book. The program raises a 'Type Mismatch' error as soon as you click the 'Start' button. I went to Bondi's website to download the latest version and the error is still there. Three years since the book has been published.
Microsoft has released their own CryptoAPI wrapper (Capicom) so you might want to investigate it before you make a big committment to the WCCO objects. But you will need this book in either case.
The wrapper that's included in this book is decent, but most of the functions assume you have the high encryption pack installed on your PC (128-bit IE will do) and the samples just won't work without it. By samples I mean two test apps (!) - there's not a lot of sample code in this book...
Fortunately, the wrapper objects are fairly easy to use and the code is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, there's not a single bit of information about CRL (certificate revoke lists) in this book, a piece that I needed more than anything.
I'd strongly suggest getting the Sams book "Developing Secure Applications with Visual Basic" and using their wrapper code. Luckily the Sams book includes samples with each chapter, delving into each topic separately (hashes, certs, etc.) so you can understand why you're learning about each subject.
A big limitation of this book is the "Wiley Open Source License" that you must abide by to use the wrapper COM objects - and of course, the entire book is based on these objects. Sections 3.2 and 3.3 of their license states that if you distribute a compiled version of their code, with or without changes, you must also provide two things: the source code (with the executable or a free way to get the source code for your version) and a document describing the changes you made, including dates of the changes. While they may have implied that this source is only necessary for people contributing to the Open Source project, it never says this in the license.
Easy summary: buy the Sams book, you'll thank me.