Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Jerry Melnick, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Esmeralda Swartz

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0, Oracle, Security, SDN Journal

Java: Article

Java Cryptography | Part 3

Decryption and verifying signatures

After you have secured your private electronic information using encryption and learned how to encrypt and digitally sign files for others, how do you extract the information and determine who encrypted the file? Asymmetric public/private key encryption allows you to decipher the information and verify the accompanying digital signature if it exists.

This article illustrates how to decrypt and verify the digital signature on files encrypted using a hybrid combination of asymmetric public/private key encryption and symmetric encryption. A symmetric key is used to encrypt the file and the asymmetric public key encrypts the symmetric key. The asymmetric private key decrypts the symmetric key which in turn is used to decrypt the encrypted file.

Figure1: Asymmetric Key Encryption Functions

The same pair of keys can be used with digital signatures. The private key is used to sign a file and generate a digital signature. The public key is used to verify the authenticity of the signature.

Figure 2: Asymmetric Key Signature Functions

The decryption technique requires the Java libraries developed by the Legion of the Bouncy Castle (www.bouncycastle.org). The Bouncy Castle jars, bcprov-jdk15on-147.jar and bcpkix-jdk15on-147.jar, contains all the methods required to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify a digital signature. The following Java code snippet loads the BouncyCastle provider, which implements the Java Cryptography Security services such as algorithms and key generation.

import org.bouncycastle.jce.provider.*;
java.security.Security.addProvider(new BouncyCastleProvider());

Decryption for Files or Java Objects
Once a file has been encrypted and/or signed using the DocuArmor application, it can be deciphered by the owner of the matching asymmetric private key. The process involves reading the header, extracting the symmetric key and deciphering the appended encrypted data. The following steps along with the Java code snippets illustrate the process used to decrypt an encrypted file.

Step 1: Assume you want to decrypt the encrypted file, C:\sampleFile.txt.jxdoe_nnnn.asg and the String variable, tUniqueAlias = "jxdoe_nnnn", holds the alias associated to the encrypted file. Read the header from the encrypted file and determine decrypted output name.

File tSrcFile = new File("C:\\sampleFile.txt." + tUniqueAlias + ".aes");
String tDecryptFile = tSrcFile.getName();
tDecryptFile = tDecryptFile.substring(0, tDecryptFile.lastIndexOf('.'));
tDecryptFile = tDecryptFile.substring(0, tDecryptFile.lastIndexOf('.'));
OutputStream tFileOStream = new FileOutputStream(tDecryptFile);
DataInputStream tDInStream =
new DataInputStream(new FileInputStream(tSrcFile));
Object tRC = CryptoHeader.readHeader(tDInStream);
CryptoHeader tHead = (CryptoHeader)tRC;

Step 2: The private key is stored in a Java key store and is password protected. Load the key store using your password. Retrieve the asymmetric private key from the key store using the same password. The asymmetric private key will be used to decrypt the symmetric key.

FileInputStream tFIStream = new FileInputStream("C:\\jxdoe_nnnn.jks");
KeyStore tMyKStore = KeyStore.getInstance("JKS", "SUN");
char[] tPW = "password".toCharArray();
tMyKStore.load(tFIStream, tPW);
PrivateKey tPrivKey = (PrivateKey)tMyKStore.getKey("jxdoe_nnnn", tPW);

Figure 3: Private Key

Step 3: Generate a Java Cipher object using the asymmetric private key and set its mode to "Cipher.UNWRAP_MODE".

Cipher tCipherRSA = Cipher.getInstance("RSA", "BC");
tCipherRSA.init(Cipher.UNWRAP_MODE, (PrivateKey)tPrivKey);

Step 4: Use the Java Cipher and asymmetric private key to unwrap the symmetric key. It's located in the header at the instance variable, wrappedSymKey or wrappedSymKeyOther, along with symmetric algorithm at symKeyAlgDesc. The symmetric key will be used to decrypt the file.

String tAlg = tHead.symKeyAlgDesc();
Key tSymmetricKey =
tCipherRSA.unwrap(tHead.wrappedSymKey(),tAlg, Cipher.SECRET_KEY);

Figure 4: Unwrap Symmetric Key

Step 5: Re-initialize the same Cipher to Cipher.DECRYPT_MODE. Use the Cipher and the asymmetric private key to decrypt the initialization vector stored within the header at the instance variable initVector or initVectorOther.

tCipher.init(Cipher.DECRYPT_MODE, (PrivateKey)tPrivKey);
byte[] tInitVector = tCipher.doFinal(tHead.initVector());
IvParameterSpec tIvParmSpec = new IvParameterSpec(tInitVector);

Figure 5: Unwrap Initialization Vector

Step 6: Generate a Java Cipher object using the symmetric key and initialization vector and set its mode to "Cipher.DECRYPT_MODE". The string representing the symmetric algorithm, mode and padding can be extracted from the Cryptography header using the "transformation" method.

tCipherDecrypt = Cipher.getInstance("AES/CTR/PKCS7Padding", "BC");
or tCipherDecrypt = Cipher.getInstance(tHead.transformation(), "BC");
tCipherDecrypt.init(Cipher.DECRYPT_MODE, tSymmetricKey, tIvParmSpec);

Step 7: Use the Java Cipher to decrypt the rest of the file to a Java FileOutputStream. The DataInputStream points to the start of the encrypted data after reading the header. The end result is a decrypted file.

byte[] tInBuffer = new byte[4096];
byte[] tOutBuffer = new byte[4096];
int tNumOfBytesRead = tDInStream.read(tInBuffer);
while (tNumOfBytesRead == tInBuffer.length) {
//-Encrypt the input buffer data and store in the output buffer
int tNumOfBytesUpdated =
tCipherDecrypt.update(tInBuffer, 0, tInBuffer.length, tOutBuffer);
tFileOStream.write(tOutBuffer, 0, tNumOfBytesUpdated);
tNumOfBytesRead = tDInStream.read(tInBuffer);
}
//-Process the remaining bytes in the input file.
if (tNumOfBytesRead > 0) {
tOutBuffer = tCipherDecrypt.doFinal(tInBuffer, 0, tNumOfBytesRead);
} else {
tOutBuffer = tCipherDecrypt.doFinal();
}
tFileOStream.write(tOutBuffer, 0, tOutBuffer.length);
tFileOStream.close();

Figure 6: Decipher the Encrypted File

Step 7a: If the encrypted file contains a Java object, use the Java Cipher to decrypt the rest of the file to a Java ByteArrayOutputStream instead of a FileOutputStream. The end result can be converted to an instance of its original Java class.

ByteArrayInputStream tBAIS = new ByteArrayInputStream(tBAOS.toByteArray());  
ObjectInput tOIS = new ObjectInputStream(tBAIS);
Object tObject = tOIS.readObject();  //-Original Java object
tBAOS.close();
tBAIS.close();
tOIS.close();

Alternatively, the same technique can be used to decrypt the encrypted file using the symmetric key that was wrapped with the CA or owner's asymmetric public key. If the file was encrypted for another user, the owner can decrypt it using the additionally wrapped symmetric key. If the file was encrypted for oneself, the CA can decrypt it using the additionally wrapped symmetric key in the enterprise version.

Signature Verification
When a file has been digitally signed with a user's asymmetric private key, the signature is stored in the Cryptography header. The signature can be validated with the user's matching asymmetric public key stored in a certificate. The process involves reading the header, extracting the digital signature and validating it against the rest of the signed file and the asymmetric public key. The following steps describe the process used to verify a digital signature.

Step 1: Assume you want to verify the signature on the encrypted and digitally signed file, "C:\sampleFile.txt.jxdoe_nnnn.asg" and the String variable, tUniqueAlias = "jxdoe_nnnn", holds the alias associated to the file. Read the header from the signed file. After the header is read, keep in mind that the DataInputStream now points to the beginning of the encrypted data.

File tSrcFile = new File("C:\\sampleFile.txt." + tUniqueAlias + ".asg");
DataInputStream tDInStream =
new DataInputStream(new FileInputStream(tSrcFile));
Object tRC = CryptoHeader.readHeader(tDInStream);
CryptoHeader tHead = (CryptoHeader)tRC;
byte[] tCurrSignature = tHead.signature();

Step 2: Retrieve the certificate whose name is stored in the header and contains the asymmetric public key needed for verification. Retrieve the asymmetric public key from the certificate associated with the digital signature.

String tCertName = "C:\\" + tHead.verifySigCertName();
InputStream tInStream = new FileInputStream(tCertName);
CertificateFactory tFactory = CertificateFactory.getInstance("X.509","BC");
X509Certificate tCert =
(X509Certificate)tFactory.generateCertificate(tInStream);
tInStream.close();
PublicKey tPubKey = tCert.getPublicKey();

Figure 7: Extract Public Key

Step 3: Instantiate a Java signature engine and initialize it with the signature algorithm stored in the header and the asymmetric public key. The default value is "SHA512WithRSAEncryption".

Signature tSgnVerifyEngine = null;
String tSigAlg = tHead.signatureAlgDesc();
tSgnVerifyEngine = Signature.getInstance(tSigAlg,"BC");
tSgnVerifyEngine.initVerify(tPubKey);

Step 4: Use the Java signature engine to process the rest of the signed file and calculate a hash number that will be compared with the signature stored in the header.

int tBlockSize = 4096;
byte[] tBuffer = new byte[tBlockSize];
int tLength = tDInStream.read(tBuffer);
while (tLength == tBlockSize) {
tSgnVerifyEngine.update(tBuffer, 0, tBlockSize);
tLength = tDInStream.read(tBuffer);
}

if (tLength > 0) {
tSgnVerifyEngine.update(tBuffer, 0, tLength);
}

Step 5: After the file has been processed, use the Java signature engine to verify its result with the digital signature. A Boolean result is returned on whether the signature was valid.

Boolean tResult = tSgnVerifyEngine.verify(tCurrSignature);

Summary
The article demonstrates how to decrypt and verify the digit signature of and encrypted file using Java Cryptography methods and the Cryptography libraries from Bouncy Castle organization. Using the information provided within the Cryptography header, the user can validate who encrypted its contents and/or decipher the encrypted file. The header also provides the flexibility to expand the usage of Cryptography such as allowing multiple recipients to decrypt a file by using each of their public keys to encrypt the same symmetric key. As society adopts file encryption as a standard way of protection, more creative uses will be invented by future Cyber warriors.

The source code (LaCryptoJarSample.java) is available on the Logical Answers Inc. website under the education web page as an individual file and also within the zip file, laCrypto-4.2.0.zipx.

References and Other Technical Notes
Software requirements:

  • Computer running Windows XP or higher...
  • Java Runtime (JRE V1.7 or higher)

Recommended reading:

  • "Beginning Cryptography with Java" by David Hook.
  • "The Code Book" by Simon Singh

More Stories By James H. Wong

James H. Wong has been involved in the technology field for over 30 years and has dual MS degrees in mathematics and computer science from the University of Michigan. He worked for IBM for almost 10 years designing and implementing software. Founding Logical Answers Corp in 1992, he has provided technical consulting/programming services to clients, providing their business with a competitive edge. With his partner they offer a Java developed suite of “Secure Applications” that protect client’s data using the standard RSA (asymmetric) and AES (symmetric) encryption algorithms.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.