Serialization of cryptographic data types

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BSD-3-Clause licensed by Olivier Chéron


Build Status BSD Haskell

This package allows to read and write cryptographic objects to/from ASN.1.

Currently the following is implemented:

  • Reading and writing private keys with optional encryption (this extends x509-store API)

  • Reading and writing public keys, certificates and CRLs

  • PKCS #12 container format (password-based only)

  • Many parts of Cryptographic Message Syntax

Please have a look at the examples below as well as some warnings about cryptographic algorithms.

Private Keys

The API to read and write private keys is available in module Crypto.Store.PKCS8. When encrypting, some types and functions from module Crypto.Store.PKCS5 are also necessary.

Reading a private key from disk:

> :set -XOverloadedStrings
> :m Crypto.Store.PKCS8
> (key : _) <- readKeyFile "/path/to/privkey.pem" -- assuming single key
> recover "mypassword" key
Right (PrivKeyRSA ...)

Generating a private key and writing to disk, without encryption:

> :m Crypto.PubKey.RSA Crypto.Store.PKCS8 Data.X509
> privKey <- PrivKeyRSA . snd <$> generate (2048 `div` 8) 0x10001
> writeKeyFile PKCS8Format "/path/to/privkey.pem" [privKey]

Generating a private key and writing to disk, with password-based encryption:

> :set -XOverloadedStrings
> :m Crypto.PubKey.RSA Crypto.Store.PKCS8 Data.X509 Crypto.Store.PKCS5
> privKey <- PrivKeyRSA . snd <$> generate (2048 `div` 8) 0x10001
> salt <- generateSalt 8
> let kdf = PBKDF2 salt 2048 Nothing PBKDF2_SHA256
> encParams <- generateEncryptionParams (CBC AES256)
> let pbes = PBES2 (PBES2Parameter kdf encParams)
> writeEncryptedKeyFile "/path/to/privkey.pem" pbes "mypassword" privKey
Right ()

Parameters used in this example are AES-256-CBC as cipher, PBKDF2 as key-derivation function, with an 8-byte salt, 2048 iterations and SHA-256 as pseudorandom function.

Public Keys and Signed Objects

Module Crypto.Store.X509 provides functions to read/write PEM files containing public keys, X.509 certificates and CRLs. These files are never encrypted.

Reading a public key and certificate from disk:

> :m Data.X509 Crypto.Store.X509
> readPubKeyFile "/path/to/pubkey.pem"
[PubKeyRSA ...]
> readSignedObject "/path/to/cert.pem" :: IO [SignedCertificate]
[SignedExact ...]

Writing back to disk:

> :m Crypto.Store.X509
> writePubKeyFile "/path/to/pubkey.pem" [pubKey]
> writeSignedObject "/path/to/cert.pem" [cert]

PKCS #12

PKCS #12 is a complex format with multiple layers of protection, providing usually both privacy and integrity, with a single password for all or not. The API to read PKCS #12 files requires some password at each layer. This API is available in module Crypto.Store.PKCS12.

Reading a binary PKCS #12 file using distinct integrity and privacy passwords:

> :set -XOverloadedStrings
> :m Crypto.Store.PKCS12
> Right p12 <- readP12File "/path/to/file.p12"
> let Right pkcs12 = recover "myintegrityassword" p12
> let Right contents = recover "myprivacypassword" (unPKCS12 pkcs12)
> getAllSafeX509Certs contents
[SignedExact {getSigned = ...}]
> recover "myprivacypassword" (getAllSafeKeys contents)
Right [PrivKeyRSA ...]

Generating a PKCS #12 file containing a private key:

> :set -XOverloadedStrings

-- Generate a private key
> :m Crypto.PubKey.RSA Data.X509
> privKey <- PrivKeyRSA . snd <$> generate (2048 `div` 8) 0x10001

-- Put the key inside a bag
> :m Crypto.Store.PKCS12 Crypto.Store.PKCS8 Crypto.Store.PKCS5 Crypto.Store.CMS
> let attrs = setFriendlyName "Some Key" []
>     keyBag = Bag (KeyBag $ FormattedKey PKCS8Format privKey) attrs
>     contents = SafeContents [keyBag]

-- Encrypt the contents
> salt <- generateSalt 8
> let kdf = PBKDF2 salt 2048 Nothing PBKDF2_SHA256
> encParams <- generateEncryptionParams (CBC AES256)
> let pbes = PBES2 (PBES2Parameter kdf encParams)
>     Right pkcs12 = encrypted pbes "mypassword" contents

-- Save to PKCS #12 with integrity protection (same password)
> salt' <- generateSalt 8
> let iParams = (DigestAlgorithm SHA256, PBEParameter salt' 2048)
> writeP12File "/path/to/privkey.p12" iParams "mypassword" pkcs12
Right ()

The API also provides functions to generate/extract a pair containing a private key and a certificate chain. This pair is the type alias Credential in tls. Currently the functions assume that the PKCS #12 file contains no other data than the credential.

> :set -XOverloadedStrings
> :m Crypto.Store.PKCS12 Crypto.Store.PKCS8 Crypto.Store.PKCS5 Crypto.Store.CMS

-- Read PKCS #12 content as credential
> Right p12 <- readP12File "/path/to/file.p12"
> let Right pkcs12 = recover "myintegrityassword" p12
> let Right (Just cred) = recover "myprivacypassword" (toCredential pkcs12)
> cred
(CertificateChain [...], PrivKeyRSA (...))

-- Scheme to reencrypt the key
> saltK <- generateSalt 8
> let kdfK = PBKDF2 saltK 2048 Nothing PBKDF2_SHA256
> encParamsK <- generateEncryptionParams (CBC AES256)
> let sKey = PBES2 (PBES2Parameter kdfK encParamsK)

-- Scheme to reencrypt the certificate chain
> saltC <- generateSalt 8
> let kdfC = PBKDF2 saltC 1024 Nothing PBKDF2_SHA256
> encParamsC <- generateEncryptionParams (CBC AES128)
> let sCert = PBES2 (PBES2Parameter kdfC encParamsC)

-- Write the content back to a new file
> let Right pkcs12' = fromCredential (Just sCert) sKey "myprivacypassword" cred
> salt <- generateSalt 8
> let iParams = (DigestAlgorithm SHA256, PBEParameter salt 2048)
> writeP12File "/path/to/newfile.p12" iParams "myintegrityassword" pkcs12'

Cryptographic Message Syntax

The API to read and write CMS content is available in Crypto.Store.CMS. The main data type ContentInfo represents a CMS structure.

Implemented content types are:

  • data
  • signed data
  • enveloped data
  • digested data
  • encrypted data
  • authenticated data
  • and authenticated-enveloped data

Notable omissions:

  • detached content
  • streaming
  • compressed data
  • and S/MIME external format (only PEM is supported, i.e. the textual encoding of RFC 7468)

The following examples generate a CMS structure enveloping some data to a password recipient, then decrypt the data to recover the content.

Generating enveloped data

> :set -XOverloadedStrings
> :m Crypto.Store.CMS

-- Input content info
> let info = DataCI "Hi, what will you need from the cryptostore?"

-- Content encryption will use AES-128-CBC
> ceParams <- generateEncryptionParams (CBC AES128)
> ceKey <- generateKey ceParams :: IO ContentEncryptionKey

-- Encrypt the Content Encryption Key with a Password Recipient Info,
-- i.e. a KDF will derive the Key Encryption Key from a password
-- that the recipient will need to know
> salt <- generateSalt 8
> let kdf = PBKDF2 salt 2048 Nothing PBKDF2_SHA256
> keParams <- generateEncryptionParams (CBC AES128)
> let pri = forPasswordRecipient "mypassword" kdf (PWRIKEK keParams)

-- Generate the enveloped structure for this single recipient
> Right envelopedCI <- envelopData mempty ceKey ceParams [pri] [] info
> writeCMSFile "/path/to/enveloped.pem" [envelopedCI]

Opening the enveloped data

> :set -XOverloadedStrings
> :m Crypto.Store.CMS

-- Then this recipient just has to read the file and recover enveloped
-- content using the password
> [EnvelopedDataCI envelopedData] <- readCMSFile "/path/to/enveloped.pem"
> openEnvelopedData (withRecipientPassword "mypassword") envelopedData
Right (DataCI "Hi, what will you need from the cryptostore?")

Algorithms and security

For compatibility reasons cryptostore implements many outdated algorithms that are still in use in data formats. Please check your security requirements. New applications should favor PBKDF2 or Scrypt and AEAD ciphers.

Additionally, the package is designed exclusively for store and forward scenarios, as most algorithms will not be perfectly safe for interactive use. ECDSA signature generation uses the generic ECC implementation from cryptonite and could leak the private key under timing attack. A padding oracle on CBC-encrypted ciphertext allows to recover the plaintext.


Main dependencies are:

  • cryptonite implementation of public-key systems, symmetric ciphers, KDFs, MAC, and one-way hash functions
  • asn1-types and asn1-encoding to encode and decode ASN.1 content
  • pem to read and write PEM files
  • x509 contains the certificate and private-key data types

Internally the ASN.1 parser used is a local implementation extending the code of asn1-parse. This extension is able to parse ASN1Repr, i.e. a stream of ASN.1 tags associated with the binary decoding events the tags were originated from. Similarly generation of ASN.1 content does not use the ASN1S type but an extension which is able to encode a stream where some parts have already been encoded. Retaining the original BER/DER encoding is required when incorporating MACed or signed content.


Revision history for cryptostore – 2018-09-23

  • First version. Released on an unsuspecting world.
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