Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Daniel Joseph Barry, Harry Trott

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, Recurring Revenue, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

Java IoT: 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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...