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Server Side Image Encryption For Uploads

How To Encrypt Images From An Upload Page

There are many applications that encrypt images and other media but the only applications that can encrypt images for display on web pages are CopySafe Web and Secure Image Pro. Although these two applications differ in the effectiveness for protection from capture and scope of operating system support, the image encryption process and software each uses to encrypt images is almost identical. For this reason, ArtistScope provides a single web interface that can be used to process images uploaded for either application.

Control server-side software from your web page

Running and controlling software installed on a computer or web server from a web page is generally forbidden by the operating system's security policy. Even running software from a web page hosted on the same computer is forbidden to prevent misadventure. But it is possible for a web page to run software via an intermediary interface that has been specially-designed for the task.

Command-line requirements

Yes, any software designed for the task can be run by command-line and that feature is the first and most important requirement. Unless an application has been designed to run from command-line input then you cannot go any further. Normally, when running any desktop application (GUI), one selects a file to open, nominates some settings and then selects where to save the finished output. To run software server-side, it needs to be able to accept and interpret these commands. More information on the command lines can be read here:

  - Command-line operation for CopySafe Web
  - Command-line operation for Secure Image Pro

ArtistScope Image Encryption Software

Having evolved over more than a decade, ArtistScope's image encryption software is the most sophisticated. Not only are the encrypted images supported in all web browsers across all operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux), but the encryption software being written in pure Java enables it to run on any operating system. However, this exercise concentrates on server-side operation for Windows computers and web servers. No support or warranty will be given for Mac or Linux servers.

First developed by ArtistScope in 1998, Secure Image is the only solution that will display encrypted images on a web page.

Server Requirements

ArtistScope's image encryption software can be run on any Windows computer or web server but the interface that ArtistScope provides for control from web pages does require:

  - A licensed version of either CopySafe Web or Secure Image Pro
  - Java installed and enabled on the server
  - Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  - .NET Framework version 4

The current version has been tested and proven on:

  - Windows Server 2003
  - Windows Server 2008 R2
  - Windows 7 Ultimate running IIS

Encrypted images stored on your website are safe from staff and your web host. They are also safe from retrieval from browser cache (temporary internet files) because the image in cache is the encrypted version and not the one that has been decrypted. Only ArtistScope's security applet can decrypt the image and it does that only while displaying it on an authorized website. The encrypted image is view only.


The server DLL utility is provided with an installer that copies the application and upload folders to the ideal location, where you only need to set write permissions for Everyone.

Installation folders on server
The JAR application needs to be run manually to process a test image for it to be able to create the ProDefaults.dat file that is suited to your environment. Then running the test.bat file and checking the OUT folder can confirm that this part is configured properly. The installer also copies the DLL and web scripts to the site root that you nominate.

Installed files in site root
The DLL does not need to be registered. However the config.txt may need modification to suit the folder location of your IN and OUT folders. Upload.aspx will create any new folder if an ID is specified in the request query and after uploading and encrypting the image, it will return the new image name to test.aspx (can be changed to any link in config).


This server interface can be used for a variety of projects and has been designed to be flexible. For example, some of the scenarios can be:

- upload images to IN and OUT folders outside of the web root
- upload images to folders determined by input on the fly
- upload images to inside the web root for immediate display on the returned page
- upload and return to a page to record the image details in a database

Availability & Warranty

The server DLL and web scripts are available to all licensed users for FREE. For the download link, licensed users of either CopySafe Web or Secure Image need to email our support team quoting their license details as proof of identity.

The server DLL and web scripts are provided as and without warranty of any kind.

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