URL parameters or query strings are often used to carry information that can be used by hackers to do identity theft or other unpleasant things. Consider the URL example.com/?user=123&account=456 and then imaging what a hacker could do with it. Security or not, sometimes you just don’t want the visitors to see all the query strings for whatever reason.

In those cases it would be nice if we could encrypt the entire query string so it wouldn’t carry any readable information. The problem with one big encrypted query string is that we would break all the code that referenced the query. Code like Request.QueryString["user"] would no longer work, but as usual ASP.NET has the answer to that problem.

What we need is an HttpModule that can turn the encrypted query string into a normal readable one, so that we can still use our old logic like Request.QueryString["user"]. In other words, we want the user to see this


while your code sees this


The HttpModule

The module we need for this task must be able to do a few simple things. It must be able to encrypt the regular query string so that all your current links will automatically be encrypted. It must also be able to decrypt it again so that you can write the code as you normally would. It must also provide a method for encrypting a regular query string if you don’t want to use automatic encryption.

The most important feature of the module is to make it totally plug ‘n play. You should be able to apply the module to any existing website and automatically have query string encryption and decryption without changing any of your code.


Download the QueryStringModule.cs below and put it in the App_Code folder of your website. Then add the following lines to the web.config’s <system.web> section:

< httpModules >

< add type = " QueryStringModule " name = " QueryStringModule " />

</ httpModules >

Because automatic encryption is not always desirable the module has a comment that tells you how to turn it off. The module is well commented and should be easy to modify for any ASP.NET developer.


You can encrypt query strings by using the Encrypt() method of the module from any web page or user control.

string query = QueryStringModule .Encrypt( "user=123&account=456" );

Then just add the encrypted query string to the links that need encryption. You don't need to use the method if you use automatic encryption.


QueryStringModule.zip (1,55 KB)