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Configurations Related to Symmetric Key Encryption

This section explains the configurations related to symmetric key encryption. This version of WSO2 Identity Server uses symmetric encryption by default. You can switch to asymmetric key encryption if required.

Algorithm used

AES/GCM/NoPadding is used as the symmetric key encryption algorithm.

GCM is a stream cipher. Hence, there is a performance advantage of using it due to parallel encryption of each block. There is no need to use a padding mechanism in GCM mode. In GCM mode, the initialization vector (IV) should be a unique value for each encryption request. The corresponding IVs of each unique value should be kept track of in order to decrypt this internal data. The keysize supported is AES-128.

The following configuration is enabled by default in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/ file for the algorithm to be used.


Internal crypto provider

The org.wso2.carbon.crypto.provider.SymmetricKeyInternalCryptoProvider provider is used as the internal crypto provider. When configuring the SymmetricKeyInternalCryptoProvider, the secret key value needs to be provided in the configuration as well.

The following configuration is enabled by default in the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/conf/default.json file to use the above-mentioned internal crypto provider.

"encryption.internal_crypto_provider": "org.wso2.carbon.crypto.provider.SymmetricKeyInternalCryptoProvider",
"encryption.key": "03BAFEB27A8E871CAD83C5CD4E771DAB"

The corresponding xml configuration can be found in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/carbon.xml file.


The encryption.key or <Secret> value above is a sample value. Generate a unique secret key of 128 bytes using a tool like openssl as shown below.

openssl rand -hex 16

Once a secure secret key is generated, configure it using the following configuration in the <IS_HOME>/repository/conf/deployment.toml file.

key = "3cc0481b70794667b5bee7e2beed2de4"

Userstore password encryption

In the previous versions, there was a configuration to enable the preferred keystore (internal or primary) to encrypt secondary userstore passwords. However, with symmetric key encryption, keystore references are not required. So this configuration has a blank as its value.

"keystore.userstore_password_encryption": "",

Encrypting symmetric encryption key with cipher tool

It is adviced to encrypt the symmetric encryption key with cipher tool as mentioned here.