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I have a java application that connects to a database. The user name and password for the database are stored in a properties file. What is the common practice to avoid storing the password in cleartext in the properties file while still retaining the option to let the user change it?

The main motivation here is to prevent someone looking over the admin's shoulder and seeing the password while the admin is editing the properties file. I read here that there's a built in way to do it in C. Knowing java, I don't expect to find a built in solution but I'd like to hear what other people are doing.

If I don't find any good choice then I am probably going to encrypt it with a constant password that will be kept in the code. But I'd hate to do it this way because it feels wrong. Edit Dec 12th Looks like there is no magic and I must store the password in the code or something similar. At the end we implemented something very similar to what Jasypt that was mentioned in one of the answers does.

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So I'm accepting the Jasypt answer because it is the closest thing to a definite answer. Jasypt provides the org.

Spring Boot: Encrypt Property Value in Properties File

EncryptableProperties class for loading, managing and transparently decrypting encrypted values in. By using an org. EncryptableProperties object, an application would be able to correctly read and use a. Note that the database password is encrypted in fact, any other property could also be encrypted, be it related with database configuration or not. For Example the DBA sets the applications database password to a 50 character random string.

He or she give half the password to the application developer who then hard codes it into the java binary. The other half of the password is passed as a command line argument. You can safely put half the password in a command line arguments as reading it wont help you much unless you are the developer who has the other half of the password.

The DBA can also still change the second half of the password and the developer need not have to re-deploy the application. The source code can also be semi public as reading it and the password will not give you application access. You can further improve the situation by adding restrictions on the IP address ranges the database will accept connections from.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. Spring Boot uses the properties file, and at least by default, the passwords are in plain text. You can use Jasypt to encrypt properties, so you could have your property like this:. Jasypt allows you to encrypt your properties using different algorithms, once you get the encrypted property you put inside the ENC For instance, you can encrypt this way through Jasypt using the terminal:.

To easily configure it with Spring Boot you can use its starter jasypt-spring-boot-starter with group ID com. Keep in mind, that you will need to start your application using the same password you used to encrypt the properties. So, you can start your app this way:. To use your encrypted properties in your app just use it as usual, use either method you like Spring Boot wires the magic, anyway the property must be of course in the classpath :. Update: for production environment, to avoid exposing the password in the command line, since you can query the processes with psprevious commands with historyetc etc.

You could:. If you want to hide your passwords then the easiest solution is to use Environment variables in application. Note: You might have to restart after setting the environment variable. For windows:. Refer this Documentation for more info. UPDATE: I noticed folks down-voting this, so I have to say that although this is not an ideal solution but this works and acceptable in some use-cases. Cloudfoundry uses Environment variables to inject credentials when a Service is binded to an application.

And also if your system is not shared, then for local development this is also acceptable.

Protecting Passwords in Java Properties Files on Windows

Of course, the more safe and secure way is explained in Answer by J-Alex. Spring Cloud Config Server will allow this type of behavior. Using JCE you can setup a key on the server and use it to cipher the apps properties.Typical Java backend applications need to integrate with existing 3rd party services.

In most cases, calls to these 3rd party services are authenticated. Frequently, Java applications are required to use login credentials for authenticated calls: A username and a password. This scenario raises a problem: How can we store the password needed for calling the 3rd party service?

We could store it in a properties file, but then everyone with access to the properties file learns the password. We could provide the password as a command line parameter or environment variable, but then everyone with access to the startup script learns the password.

We could hard-code it in our application, but then everyone with access to the JAR file learns the password. We could encrypt the password using a master key, but then we have the same problem again: How to store the master key? The common solution is to use a secure data store provided by the operating system. We can now store the encrypted string in our properties file, and call decrypt in our application to get the secret data.

As you might have noticed, we call encrypt and decrypt without providing the encryption key. The key is managed by the Windows operating system and not by our Java application. Windows uses a randomly generated master key to protect the data. When the user changes the login password, Windows automatically re-encrypts the master keys. The application must run under the same user who encrypted the data. Only then can our application decrypt the data from the properties file.

If the application runs under another user, the data cannot be decrypted. If the application runs on another machine, the data cannot be decrypted unless the same user profile is available on the other machine.

java encrypt password in properties file

Our application is implemented as follows: When the administrator installs the application and starts it for the first time, he must create a configuration with the plain text password. The application then generates a properties file containing the encrypted version of these passwords.

Once this is done, the administrator may delete the plain text configuration.

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Now the application runs using the generated properties file, and the plain text passwords are no longer stored anywhere on the machine. The encrypted data can be stored in a Java properties file. The Java application does not need to maintain the encryption keys, as this is done by the Windows operating system. Toggle navigation.

How to encrypt passwords in a Spring Boot project using Jasypt

Projects Repository. InitializationFailedException ; import com. CryptProtectFlag ; import java. Base64 ; import static java. Plain text: Hello, World! Citrus Framework. Java Caches.Shruti Sharma wrote: I need to save username and passwords in the properties file in encrypted format and also decrypt the credentials after reading them from a properties file.

Forum: Security. Encrypting password in a properties file. Shruti Sharma. Hi, I need to save username and passwords in the properties file in encrypted format and also decrypt the credentials after reading them from a properties file. Can someone tell how to do that? Is there any sample code to do that? Thank you, -Shruti.

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Tim Moores. Saloon Keeper. I like Note that encrypted data is binary, and so can not be stored directly in a properties file which contains text - you'll need to convert it to text, maybe using something like base encoding.

Arshad Noor. If you are going to validate the password in your application, then symmetric-key encryption is the wrong technology to use. The reason is that you have to keep the decryption key around somehwere to be able to decrypt the passwords. In which case, how do you protect the decryption key? If you leave it lying around in a property file, an attacker can easily find it. If you try to encrypt it with another key, then how do you protect the key-encrypting-key? The problem is a non-trivial one.

The technology you should be using if your application verifies the passwords is to use message-digests such as SHA This is a "one-way encryption" that cannot reverse the digest value. But, if you get the same password from the users of your application, then you can compute the SHA digest to arrive at the same value, which then allows you to compare the calculated value with the stored value safely. In this FOSS, we have a servlet that displays a single web-page for Administrators, accessible only internally within an Operations network.

The Administrator types in the appropriate information into a form, which is verified by the servlet and then maintained in the servlet context.

While it remains in memory, it can be used by the servlet to authenticate to a remote web-service. Thus, an attacker, must have already compromised an Administrator account on the machine to be able to search RAM for this a non-trivial task if the machine is protected adequately.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information.

I have a program that reads server information from a configuration file and would like to encrypt the password in that configuration that can be read by my program and decrypted. Any reccomendations on how i would go about doing this? I was thinking of writing my own algorithm but i feel it would be terribly insecure. A simple way of doing this is to use Password Based Encryption in Java. This allows you to encrypt and decrypt a text by using a password.

This basically means initializing a javax. One problem remains: Where should you store the password that you use to encrypt the passwords? You can store it in the source file and obfuscate it, but it's not too hard to find it again. The same issue remains if you use the KeyStore, which also is protected by a password.

java encrypt password in properties file

Basically, you will need to have one master password somewhere, and it's pretty hard to protect. If the OS you are installing upon has a keystore, then you could use that to store your crypto keys that you will need to encrypt and decrypt the sensitive data in your configuration or other files.

Check out jasyptwhich is a library offering basic encryption capabilities with minimum effort. I think that the best approach is to ensure that your config file containing your password is only accessible to a specific user account. For example, you might have an application specific user appuser to which only trusted people have the password and to which they su to. That way, there's no annoying cryptography overhead and you still have a password which is secure.

EDIT: I am assuming that you are not exporting your application configuration outside of a trusted environment which I'm not sure would make any sense, given the question.

Well to solve the problems of master password - the best approach is not to store the password anywhere, the application should encrypt passwords for itself - so that only it can decrypt them. So if I was using a. The big point, and the elephant in the room and all that, is that if your application can get hold of the password, then a hacker with access to the box can get hold of it too!

The only way somewhat around this, is that the application asks for the "master password" on the console using Standard Input, and then uses this to decrypt the passwords stored on file. Of course, this completely makes is impossible to have the application start up unattended along with the OS when it boots.

However, even with this level of annoyance, if a hacker manages to get root access or even just access as the user running your applicationhe could dump the memory and find the password there. The thing to ensure, is to not let the entire company have access to the production server and thereby to the passwordsand make sure that it is impossible to crack this box! Its easy to configure and you can also easily change your keys. See what is available in Jetty for storing password or hashes in configuration files, and consider if the OBF encoding might be useful for you.

Then see in the source how it is done.

java encrypt password in properties file

If you are not too afraid of the password being decrypted and it can be really simple to configure using a bean to store the password key. However, if you need more security you can set an environment variable with the secret and remove it after launch.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

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The dark mode beta is finally here. Change your preferences any time. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. Spring Boot uses the properties file, and at least by default, the passwords are in plain text. You can use Jasypt to encrypt properties, so you could have your property like this:. Jasypt allows you to encrypt your properties using different algorithms, once you get the encrypted property you put inside the ENC For instance, you can encrypt this way through Jasypt using the terminal:.

To easily configure it with Spring Boot you can use its starter jasypt-spring-boot-starter with group ID com. Keep in mind, that you will need to start your application using the same password you used to encrypt the properties. So, you can start your app this way:. To use your encrypted properties in your app just use it as usual, use either method you like Spring Boot wires the magic, anyway the property must be of course in the classpath :.

Update: for production environment, to avoid exposing the password in the command line, since you can query the processes with psprevious commands with historyetc etc. You could:. If you want to hide your passwords then the easiest solution is to use Environment variables in application.

Note: You might have to restart after setting the environment variable.

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For windows:. Refer this Documentation for more info. UPDATE: I noticed folks down-voting this, so I have to say that although this is not an ideal solution but this works and acceptable in some use-cases.

Cloudfoundry uses Environment variables to inject credentials when a Service is binded to an application. And also if your system is not shared, then for local development this is also acceptable.

Hash vs Salted Hash (How to store password) Java

Of course, the more safe and secure way is explained in Answer by J-Alex. Spring Cloud Config Server will allow this type of behavior.

Using JCE you can setup a key on the server and use it to cipher the apps properties. To the already proposed solutions I can add an option to configure an external Secrets Manager such as Vault. Refer to the documentation here. There is a Spring Vault project which is also can be used for accessing, storing and revoking secrets.In this Java tutorial we will see about what PBE is and how we can use it in Java to encrypt and decrypt a file.

In Password based encryption PBEa password is chosen and it is used along with a generated salt key to encrypt. Then the same password is used along with the salt again to decrypt the file.

Execute the above program and it will generate the random unique key as shown above in the output. Save it into file and it is required to encrypt and decrypt the password. While executing the above java class will ask please enter key then you need to enter the above generated key and will ask plain text password then you need to enter your password and it will generate the encrypted password as above shown in the output. Save the encrypted password in the properties file where key is stored already in the above as follows.

I am Narayanaswamy founder and admin of narayanatutorial. I have been working in IT industry more than 7 years. NarayanaTutorial is my web technologies blog. I am a self learner and passionate about training and writing. I am always trying my best to share my knowledge through my blog. You must be logged in to post a comment.

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