Encrypted Configuration

Parts of the configuration are considered extra sensitive. When dumping the configuration to file, using version control systems to manage versions of the configuration or viewing the configuration using any interface it’s often desired to be able to lock certain parts.

The crypto subtree under /processing/crypto is therefore encrypted. By default it uses a known key by the system, but in production systems this should be replaced with a production key instead.

It is possible to setup different keys for different environments and using command line arguments when starting Curity to re-encrypt the data using new keys.


When enabling encryption of the config it is not possible to retrieve the encrypted values if the key is lost.

Setup Encryption

In a default installation of Curity the encryption key is not set. This means that the sensitive parts of the data are encrypted using a default key, and should be considered non-encrypted.

Defining a key during installation

The first approach is to define a key when installing Curity. The installer.sh will ask if the configuration should be encrypted:

Listing 297 installer.sh
Would you like to protect sensitive parts of the configuration with a unique encryption key? [y/N]

If you have an existing encryption key you want to use, paste it here (may be a comma separated list of keys); press enter to generate a new key

If you answer y to the question about encryption you are prompted with a second question where two options are available:

  1. Leave blank (hit enter) and a new key will ge generated for you.
  2. Enter a plaintext key that should be used to encrypt the data.

The key will be placed in <IDSVR_HOME>/etc/startup.properties after the installer is done:

Listing 298 startup.properties
# Required: false

It can be removed from this file and placed on the command line when starting Curity. See Defining Encryption Key on Startup.


The encryption key can be removed from startup.properties and given as a command line argument or an environment variable (by the same name) when starting Curity

Whenever configuration is added using REST, CLI or the Admin UI it will be encrypted using the new encryption key.

Defining Encryption Key on Startup

Instead of giving the configuration key as a property in startup.properties it’s also possible to provide it directly on the command line. When doing so, the entry in startup.properties is ignored.

Listing 299 Providing key as startup argument
$ idsvr --config-encryption-key 02b891b3ec501cece86de216a6f6a15f585dddcbd56fe21b410233d78dfaa79e

It’s also possible to provide multiple keys comma separated. The first key is used as the encryption key and primary decryption key, and all consecutive keys are used as decryption keys. This is handy when rotating keys or when migrating config between environments.

Listing 300 Providing multiple keys as startup arguments (abbreviated for readability)
$ idsvr --config-encryption-key 02b891b3ec501cece86d,42b391bgecgg01cece

Change Encryption Key

When it’s time to move to a production configuration, or when rotating keys, the bin/reenc tool can be used to re-encrypt the configuration.


Fig. 175 Re-encrypting configuration

Listing 301 Re-encrypting using reenc
$ ./bin/reenc config.xml NEW_KEY OLD_KEY1,OLD_KEY2 > new-config.xml

In the same way, multiple “old” description keys can be given comma separated. The first argument is the current configuration, the second argument is the new encryption key and the last argument is a comma separated list of all old decryption keys.

The last key in the list is implicit and is the built in key. So the same script can be used to encrypt configuration that previously only was encrypted with the default key.

Listing 302 Encrypting using reenc from default encryption
$ ./bin/reenc config.xml NEW_KEY > new-config.xml