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Last active April 27, 2018 03:49
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Helper class to securely create encryption keys without the need of user interaction on iOS. There are way to much samples that use some hardcoded values which could be compromised. The keys of this class are only available for usage within the app via KeyChain that created them, but can be synced across devices with the right Entitlements.
using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using Security;
using Foundation;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Linq;
using ObjCRuntime;
public class PlatformEncryptionKeyHelper
private readonly bool _shouldSyncAcrossDevices;
private readonly string _keyName;
public int KeySize { get; set; } = 2048;
public PlatformEncryptionKeyHelper(string keyname, bool shouldSyncAcrossDevices = false)
_keyName = !string.IsNullOrEmpty(keyname) ? keyname.ToLowerInvariant() : $"{nameof(PlatformEncryptionKeyHelper).ToLowerInvariant()}";
_shouldSyncAcrossDevices = shouldSyncAcrossDevices;
public bool KeysExist()
return GetPrivateKey() != null;
public bool Delete()
var findExisting = new SecRecord(SecKind.Key)
ApplicationTag = NSData.FromString(_keyName, NSStringEncoding.UTF8),
KeyType = SecKeyType.RSA,
Synchronizable = _shouldSyncAcrossDevices
SecStatusCode code = SecKeyChain.Remove(findExisting);
return code == SecStatusCode.Success;
public SecKey GetPrivateKey()
var privateKey = SecKeyChain.QueryAsConcreteType(
new SecRecord(SecKind.Key)
ApplicationTag = NSData.FromString(_keyName, NSStringEncoding.UTF8),
KeyType = SecKeyType.RSA,
Synchronizable = shouldSyncAcrossDevices
out var code);
return code == SecStatusCode.Success ? privateKey as SecKey : null;
public SecKey GetPublicKey()
return GetPrivateKey()?.GetPublicKey();
public bool CreatePrivateKey()
var keyParams = CreateRsaParams();
SecKey.CreateRandomKey(keyParams, out var keyCreationError);
if (keyCreationError != null)
return keyCreationError == null;
private NSDictionary CreateRsaParams()
IList<object> keys = new List<object>();
IList<object> values = new List<object>();
//creating the private key params
values.Add(NSData.FromString(keyName, NSStringEncoding.UTF8));
NSDictionary privateKeyAttributes = NSDictionary.FromObjectsAndKeys(values.ToArray(), keys.ToArray());
//creating the keychain entry params
//no need for public key params, as it will be created from the private key once it is needed
return NSDictionary.FromObjectsAndKeys(values.ToArray(), keys.ToArray());
//Xamarin does not expose these values, so we have to pick them up manually
internal class IosConstants
private static IosConstants _instance;
public static IosConstants Instance => _instance ?? (_instance = new IosConstants());
public readonly NSString KSecAttrKeyType;
public readonly NSString KSecAttrKeySize;
public readonly NSString KSecAttrKeyTypeRSA;
public readonly NSString KSecAttrIsPermanent;
public readonly NSString KSecAttrApplicationTag;
public readonly NSString KSecPrivateKeyAttrs;
public readonly NSString KSecClass;
public readonly NSString KSecClassKey;
public readonly NSString KSecPaddingPKCS1;
public readonly NSString KSecAccessibleWhenUnlocked;
public readonly NSString KSecAttrAccessible;
public IosConstants()
var handle = Dlfcn.dlopen(Constants.SecurityLibrary, 0);
KSecAttrApplicationTag = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrApplicationTag");
KSecAttrKeyType = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrKeyType");
KSecAttrKeyTypeRSA = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrKeyTypeRSA");
KSecAttrKeySize = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrKeySizeInBits");
KSecAttrIsPermanent = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrIsPermanent");
KSecPrivateKeyAttrs = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecPrivateKeyAttrs");
KSecClass = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecClass");
KSecClassKey = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecClassKey");
KSecPaddingPKCS1 = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecPaddingPKCS1");
KSecAccessibleWhenUnlocked = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrAccessibleWhenUnlocked");
KSecAttrAccessible = Dlfcn.GetStringConstant(handle, "kSecAttrAccessible");
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