9.11.6. Store and Resolve Sensitive Strings In Your Applications


Configuration elements of the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform support the ability to resolve encrypted strings against values stored in a Java Keystore, via the Security Vault mechanism. You can add support for this feature to your own applications.

First, add the password to the vault. Second, replace the clear-text password with the one stored in the vault. You can use this method to obscure any sensitive string in your application.

Before performing this procecure, make sure that the directory for storing your vault files exists. It does not matter where you place them, as long as the user who executes JBoss Enterprise Application Platform has permission to read and write the files. This example places the vault/ directory into the /home/USER/vault/ directory. The vault itself is a file called vault.keystore inside the vault/ directory.

Example 9.26. Adding the Password String to the Vault

Add the string to the vault using the EAP_HOME/bin/vault.sh command. The full series of commands and responses is included in the following screen output. Values entered by the user are emphasized. Some output is removed for formatting. In Microsoft Windows, the name of the command is vault.bat. Note that in Microsoft Windows, file paths use the \ character as a directory separater, rather than the / character.
[user@host bin]$ ./vault.sh 
****  JBoss Vault ********
Please enter a Digit::   0: Start Interactive Session  1: Remove Interactive Session  2: Exit
Starting an interactive session
Enter directory to store encrypted files:/home/user/vault/
Enter Keystore URL:/home/user/vault/vault.keystore
Enter Keystore password: ...
Enter Keystore password again: ...
Values match
Enter 8 character salt:12345678
Enter iteration count as a number (Eg: 44):25

Enter Keystore Alias:vault
Vault is initialized and ready for use
Handshake with Vault complete
Please enter a Digit::   0: Store a password  1: Check whether password exists  2: Exit
Task:  Store a password
Please enter attribute value: sa
Please enter attribute value again: sa
Values match
Enter Vault Block:DS
Enter Attribute Name:thePass
Attribute Value for (DS, thePass) saved

Please make note of the following:
Vault Block:DS
Attribute Name:thePass
Configuration should be done as follows:

Please enter a Digit::   0: Store a password  1: Check whether password exists  2: Exit
The string that will be added to the Java code is the last value of the output, the line beginning with VAULT.
The following servlet uses the vaulted string instead of a clear-text password. The clear-text version is commented out so that you can see the difference.

Example 9.27. Servlet Using a Vaulted Password

package vaulterror.web;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.Writer;
import javax.annotation.Resource;
import javax.annotation.sql.DataSourceDefinition;
import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import javax.sql.DataSource;
        name = "java:jboss/datasources/LoginDS",
        user = "sa",
        password = "sa",
        className = "org.h2.jdbcx.JdbcDataSource",
        url = "jdbc:h2:tcp://localhost/mem:test"
        name = "java:jboss/datasources/LoginDS",
        user = "sa",
        password = "VAULT::DS::thePass::OWY5M2I5NzctYzdkOS00MmZhLWExZGYtNjczM2U5ZGUyOWIxTElORV9CUkVBS3ZhdWx0",
        className = "org.h2.jdbcx.JdbcDataSource",
        url = "jdbc:h2:tcp://localhost/mem:test"
@WebServlet(name = "MyTestServlet", urlPatterns = { "/my/" }, loadOnStartup = 1)
public class MyTestServlet  extends HttpServlet {
    private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;
    @Resource(lookup = "java:jboss/datasources/LoginDS")
    private DataSource ds;
    protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp) throws ServletException, IOException {
        Writer writer = resp.getWriter();
        writer.write((ds != null) + "");
Your servlet is now able to resolve the vaulted string.