What is Salt in C# and how it works?

 In C#, salt refers to a specific security technique used when storing passwords. It's not a built-in data type or keyword in the language itself. Here's how salt works in password storage:

What is Salt?

Salt is a random piece of data, typically a string of characters, that gets added to a user's password before it's hashed. This creates a unique value for each password even if the original passwords themselves are identical.

Why Use Salt?

Storing passwords directly is a security risk. If a hacker gains access to your database, they could easily steal user passwords.  Hashing is a one-way process that transforms a password into a fixed-length string of characters. This hashed value cannot be reversed to reveal the original password.

However, with just hashing, if two users have the same password, their hashed values will also be the same. This can be exploited in a dictionary attack where hackers compare stolen hashed passwords with pre-computed hashes of common passwords.

Salt prevents this issue. By adding a random salt to each password before hashing, the resulting hashed value becomes unique even for identical passwords. This significantly increases the difficulty of cracking passwords.

How Salt Works in C#

There's no specific "salt" class in C#. Instead, developers use libraries like System.Security.Cryptography to generate random bytes and combine those with the password before applying a hashing function like SHA-256 or, preferably, a slower and more secure option like Bcrypt or Argon2.  The resulting hashed password along with the salt value are then stored in the database.


During login, when a user enters their password, the system retrieves the corresponding salt value from the database. The entered password is then combined with the salt and hashed again. This newly generated hash is compared to the stored hashed password. If they match, the login is successful.

By using salt, C# developers can implement a more secure password storage system that helps protect user credentials.

The following code can be used to generate random salt in C# :

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