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  SQL Server Tips by Burleson

Helix Stream Cipher

Helix is a high-speed cipher developed by Niels Ferguson, Doug Whiting, Bruce Schneier, John Kelsey, Stefan Lucks, and Tadayoshi Kohno. It includes encryption / decryption and a Message Authentication Code (MAC) in the one algorithm. It incorporates a 128-bit key and is designed to operate quickly on modern CPU’s such as a Pentium 2 and later. Because the MS CryptoAPI does not include support for this algorithm, we must implement support directly for it in XP_CRYPTOAPI. A C++ implementation of the algorithm is available from PJ’s web site at and we simply incorporate this code directly into the XP_CRYPTOAPI code. Because it includes hashing as well as encryption, the parameters to the Helix XP’s are different than the MS CryptoAPI examples provided so far. For encryption we have an additional output parameter, which contains the MAC. For decryption, this MAC becomes an additional input parameter. The code continues to use the CryptoAPI to create the contents for the key from the password parameter. The key is setup using the following code:

BYTE* pHashData = (BYTE*) _alloca(dwHashSize);
if (CryptGetHashParam(hHash, HP_HASHVAL, pHashData, &dwHashSize, 0))
CHelix helix;
helix.SetKey(pHashData, dwHashSize);

The encryption process is implemented by calling the ‘CHelix::Encrypt’ method as follows:

helix.Encrypt(m_pParameterData[HELIX_ENCRYPT_DATA_TO_ENCRYPT_INDEX].m_pData, m_pParameterData[HELIX_ENCRYPT_DATA_TO_ENCRYPT_INDEX].m_cbActualLen, nonce, pbyEncryptedData, mac)

The decryption XP is implemented using similar code.

The above book excerpt is from:

Super SQL Server Systems
Turbocharge Database Performance with C++ External Procedures

ISBN: 0-9761573-2-2
Joseph Gama, P. J. Naughter  

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