VB.NET - Sign Email - S/MIME

The following vb.net example codes demonstrate how to sign email to S/MIME format with digital signature.

Email Digital Signature

Digital signature prevents email content is faked or changed in transport level. Encrypting email protects email content from exposure to inappropriate recipients. Both digital signature and email encrypting depend on digital certificate.

If you have an email digital signature certificate installed on your machine, you can find it in “Control Panel” -> “Internet Options” -> “Content” -> “Certificates” -> “Personal”.

email ceritificate

Then you can use your email certificate to sign the email by the following code. If you don’t have a certificate for your email address, you MUST get a digital certificate for personal email protection from third-party certificate authorities such as www.verisign.com.

If you need a free certificate for your email address, you can go to http://www.comodo.com/home/email-security/free-email-certificate.php to apply for one year free email certificate.

Installation

Before you can use the following codes, please download EASendMail SMTP Component and install it on your machine at first. Full sample proejcts are included in this installer.

Install from NuGet

You can also install the run-time assembly by NuGet. Run the following command in the NuGet Package Manager Console:

Install-Package EASendMail

Note

If you install it by NuGet, no sample projects are installed, only .NET assembly is installed.

Add Reference

To use EASendMail SMTP Component in your project, the first step is Add reference of EASendMail to your project. Please create or open your project with Visual Studio, then go to menu -> Project -> Add Reference -> .NET -> Browse..., and select EASendMail{version}.dll from your disk, click Open -> OK, the reference of EASendMail will be added to your project, and you can start to use it to send email in your project.

add reference in c#/vb.net/c++/cli/clr

.NET Assembly

Because EASendMail has separate builds for .Net Framework, please refer to the following table and choose the correct dll.

Separate builds of run-time assembly for .Net Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and .Net Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5.

File .NET Framework Version
EASendMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 1.1
It requires .NET Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
EASendMail20.dll Built with .NET Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
EASendMail35.dll Built with .NET Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Framework 3.5 or later version.
EASendMaill40.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.0
It requires .NET Framework 4.0 or later version.
EASendMaill45.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.5
It requires .NET Framework 4.5 or later version.
EASendMailCF20.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
EASendMailCF35.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Compact Framework 3.5 or later version.

VB.NET - Sign Email - S/MIME - Example

The following example codes demonstrate signing email with digital signature - S/MIME. In order to run it correctly, please change SMTP server, user, password, sender, recipient value to yours.

Note

To get full sample projects, please download and install EASendMail on your machine.

' Add EASendMail namespace
Imports EASendMail

Module Module1
    Sub Main()
        Dim oMail As New SmtpMail("TryIt")
        Dim oSmtp As New SmtpClient()

        ' Set sender email address, please change it to yours
        oMail.From = "test@emailarchitect.net"

        ' Set recipient email address, please change it to yours
        oMail.To = "support@emailarchitect.net"

        ' Set email subject
        oMail.Subject = "test email from vb.net with digital signature"

        ' Set email body
        oMail.TextBody = "this is a test email with digital signature (S/MIME)"

        ' Your SMTP server address
        Dim oServer As New SmtpServer("smtp.emailarchitect.net")

        ' User and password for ESMTP authentication, if your server doesn't require
        ' User authentication, please remove the following codes.
        oServer.User = "test@emailarchitect.net"
        oServer.Password = "testpassword"

        ' If your smtp server requires SSL/TLS connection, please add this line
        ' oServer.ConnectType = SmtpConnectType.ConnectSSLAuto

        Try

            ' Find certificate by email adddress in My Personal Store.
            ' Once the certificate is loaded to From, the email content
            ' will be signed automatically
            oMail.From.Certificate.FindSubject(oMail.From.Address, _
                Certificate.CertificateStoreLocation.CERT_SYSTEM_STORE_CURRENT_USER, _
                "My")

        Catch exp As Exception

            Console.WriteLine("No sign certificate found for <" + _
                oMail.From.Address + ">:" + exp.Message)
        End Try

        Try

            Console.WriteLine("start to send email ...")
            oSmtp.SendMail(oServer, oMail)
            Console.WriteLine("email was sent successfully!")

        Catch ep As Exception

            Console.WriteLine("failed to send email with the following error:")
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

    End Sub
End Module

Signature Algorithm

You can use SmtpMail.SignatureHashAlgorithm property to set MD5, SHA1, SHA256, SHA384 or SHA512 signature algorithm. SHA256 is recommended.

Appendix

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