Sunday, November 19, 2017

Encrypting sensitive data in Spring file

If you want to encrypt passwords, keys and other sensitive information in your file, then you have a nifty solution from an open source encryption library called as Jasypt.

We begin by adding the maven dependency of jasypt-spring-boot-starter to our Spring Boot application. The steps involved in integrating Jasypt into your Spring Boot application is as follows:

1. First using Jasypy and a secret password, created encrypted tokens of all sensitive information.

2. Put this encrypted token in your properties file with the value enclosed with string 'ENC' - e.g. password=ENC(encrypted-token)

3. Retrieve your properties in Spring classes the same old way - e.g. using the @Value annotation or env.getProperty() method.

A good example explaining this is here -  with source code available here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Changing the hashing algorithm for passwords

Recently, one of my teams wanted to update their password hashing algorithm that was in use for more than 2 years. As discussed here, passwords should always be hashed in the database.

If we directly employ the new hashing algorithm, then all users would lose the ability to login with their old passwords and would be forced to change their password.

Hence, we need to follow the following approach:

1. Add a new column to the user table that stores the hashing algorithm name (or version).
2. Set this version to 1 for all old passwords.
3. When the user logs in, first check the hash using the old algorithm. If it is correct, then hash the password using the new algorithm and save the hash.
4. Update the version column to 2.