CFXWorks-Coldfusion: Encryption, Secure Messaging and Credit Card Processing
[FREE PRODUCTS] - CFX_BASE64 Summary
Overview of CFX_BASE64 ?
What is CFX_BASE64 ?
Why is CFX_BASE64 better?
 
DESCRIPTION:
 

The most common use of Base64 encoding is to encode binary and text data that may contain "special characters", "reserved characters" or characters within the Extended ASCII character set (characters represented by decmial numbers 128-255)? Why would you want to do this? For example, the Extended ASCII character set is used to represent industry specific, mathematical, graphic and foreign characters. Only approximately one-third of the characters that can be represented within computer memory, can be "safely" transmitted across the Internet. Natural data, that is real data, provided by real customers and real data sources, contain a high incidence of data that falls outside of this scope. As another example, programmers using encryption techniques, will most certainly produce data that falls outside of the scope of permissable data.

 

Base64 encoding is used to convert (encode) data to a format safe for transmission. It is also used to decode the data at the receiving end back into its natural state. The CFX_BASE64 tag provides users with this capability.

 

As a side issue, most characters outside of the "scope of permissable data" are not printable. Although this is more of a nusance than a real issue, Base64 encoded data is printable.

 

Base64 encoding should not be considered secure because no key is envolved in the encoding algorithm. Anyone can encode the data, and anyone can decode the data. No guesswork is involved in the encoding/decoding process. Therefore, Base64 encoding should never be used as a substitute for encryption.

 

The CFX_BASE64 tag also supports data integrity issues by providing support for message digests using MD5, a best of breed message digest algorithm. If "DIGEST=YES" is coded in the tag, CFX_BASE64 calculates a message digest and concatenates it to the data string. Then, the total string is encoded. This forms a digital envelope. When the data is decoded by the tag, the message digest is recalculated and compared to the original value. If even a single bit within the encoded string or file has been modified, the comparison fails and CFX_BASE64 returns an error code.

 

The intent of the CFX_ENCRYPT_AES tag is to support data confidentiality and data integrity. The intent of the CFX_BASE64 tag is to support the ability to safely transmitted data across the Internet. Data encrypted, using the CFX_ENCRYPT_AES tag, does not require Base64 encoding. Data not encrypted using the CFX_ENCRYPT_AES tag, may require Base64 encoding.

 

The following, illustrates just how simple it is to use this tag. For more detail, please review the programming specification for this tag in the CFX_BASE64 documentation in PDF format.

 
CODE SAMPLE 1: To encode simple ColdFusion variables
 
<CFX_BASE64
ACTION="et"
TEXT="This is the data to be encrypted"
NAME="RESULT">
 
CODE SAMPLE 2: To encode files
 
< CFX_BASE64
ACTION="ef"
FILEIN="afile"
FILEOUT="bfile">
 
CODE SAMPLE 3: to encode simple ColdFusion variables and write them to a file
 
< CFX_BASE64
ACTION="etf"
TEXT="This is the data to be encrypted"
FILEOUT="bfile">
 
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CFX_Base64:

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