Send Email with Digital Signature in VB.NET - S/MIME with SHA1, SHA256, SHA384 and SHA512

In previous section, I introduced how to send email with embedded images. In this section, I will introduce how to send email with digital signature (S/MIME) in VB.NET.

Introduction

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”.

VB.NET 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.

Note

Remarks: All of samples in this section are based on first section: Send email in a simple VB.NET project. To compile and run the following example codes successfully, please click here to learn how to create the test project and add reference of EASendMail to your project.

[VB.NET - Send Email with Digital Signature (S/MIME) - Example]

The following example codes demonstrate how to send email with digital signature in VB.NET.

Note

To get the full sample projects, please refer to Samples section.

Imports EASendMail 'Add EASendMail namespace
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 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.

Next Section

At next section I will introduce how to encrypt email with digital certificate.

Appendix

Comments

If you have any comments or questions about above example codes, please click here to add your comments.