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File: docs/README.md
Role: Example script
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Description: Example script
Class: Cipher Sweet
Encrypt data in away that can be searched
Author: By
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Date: 8 months ago
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Using CipherSweet

Setting up CipherSweet at Run-Time

Select Your Backend

First, you'll need to decide if you have any strict operational requirements for your encryption. This mostly boils down to whether or not you need all encryption to be FIPS 140-2 compliant or not, in which case, you'll need to use the FIPSCrypto backend.

If you aren't sure, the answer is that you probably don't, and feel free to use ModernCrypto instead.

<?php
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Backend\FIPSCrypto;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Backend\ModernCrypto;

$fips = new FIPSCrypto(); // Use only FIPS 140-2 algorithms
$nacl = new ModernCrypto(); // Uses libsodium

Define your Key Provider

After you choose your backend, you'll need a KeyProvider. We provide a few out-of-the-box, but we also provide an interface that can be used to integrate with any key management service in your code.

The simplest example of this is the StringProvider, which accepts a string containing your encryption key:

<?php
use ParagonIE\ConstantTime\Hex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Backend\ModernCrypto;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\KeyProvider\StringProvider;

$provider = new StringProvider(
    new ModernCrypto(),
    // Example key, chosen randomly, hex-encoded:
    '4e1c44f87b4cdf21808762970b356891db180a9dd9850e7baf2a79ff3ab8a2fc'
);

You can pass a raw binary string, hex-encoded string, or base64url-encoded string to the second parameter of the StringProvider constructor, provided the decoded key is 256 bits.

Attempting to pass a key of an invalid size (i.e. not 256-bit) will result in a CryptoOperationException being thrown. The recommended way to generate a key is:

<?php
use ParagonIE\ConstantTime\Hex;

var_dump(Hex::encode(random_bytes(32)));

Start Your Engines

Once you have these two, you can actually start the engine (CipherSweet). Building on the previous code example:

<?php
use ParagonIE\ConstantTime\Hex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Backend\FIPSCrypto;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\CipherSweet;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\KeyProvider\StringProvider;

$provider = new StringProvider(
    new ModernCrypto(),
    // Example key, chosen randomly, hex-encoded:
    '4e1c44f87b4cdf21808762970b356891db180a9dd9850e7baf2a79ff3ab8a2fc'
);

$engine = new CipherSweet($provider);

If you're using FIPSCrypto instead of ModernCrypto, you just need to pass it once to the KeyProvider and the rest is handled for you.

<?php
use ParagonIE\ConstantTime\Hex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Backend\ModernCrypto;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\CipherSweet;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\KeyProvider\StringProvider;

$provider = new StringProvider(
    new FIPSCrypto(),
    // Example key, chosen randomly, hex-encoded:
    '4e1c44f87b4cdf21808762970b356891db180a9dd9850e7baf2a79ff3ab8a2fc'
);
$engine = new CipherSweet($provider);

Basic CipherSweet Usage

Once you have an engine in play, you can start defining encrypted fields and defining one or more blind index to be used for fast search operations.

EncryptedField

This will primarily involve the EncryptedField class (as well as one or more instances of BlindIndex), mostly:

  • $encryptedField->prepareForStorage()
  • $encryptedField->getBlindIndex()
  • $encryptedField->getAllBlindIndexes()
  • $encryptedField->encryptValue()
  • $encryptedField->decryptValue()

For example, the following code encrypts a user's social security number and then creates two blind indexes: One for a literal search, the other only matches the last 4 digits.

<?php
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\BlindIndex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\CipherSweet;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\EncryptedField;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Transformation\LastFourDigits;

/ @var CipherSweet $engine */
$ssn = (new EncryptedField($engine, 'contacts', 'ssn'))
    // Add a blind index for the "last 4 of SSN":
    ->addBlindIndex(
        new BlindIndex(
            // Name (used in key splitting):
            'contact_ssn_last_four',
            // List of Transforms: 
            [new LastFourDigits()],
            // Bloom filter size (bits)
            16
        )
    )
    // Add a blind index for the full SSN:
    ->addBlindIndex(
        new BlindIndex(
            'contact_ssn', 
            [],
            32
        )
    );

// Some example parameters:
$contactInfo = [
    'name' => 'John Smith',
    'ssn' => '123-45-6789',
    'email' => 'foo@example.com'
];

/ 
 * @var string $ciphertext
 * @var array<string, string> $indexes
 */
list ($ciphertext, $indexes) = $ssn->prepareForStorage($contactInfo['ssn']);

Every time you run the above code, the $ciphertext will be randomized, but the array of blind indexes will remain the same.

Each blind index returns an array with two values: type and value. The value is calculated from the plaintext. The type is a key derived form the table name, field name, and index name.

The type indicator is handy if you're storing all your blind indexes in a separate table rather than in an additional column in the same table. In the latter case, you only need the value string for each index.

var_dump($ciphertext, $indexes);
/*
string(73) "nacl:jIRj08YiifK86YlMBfulWXbatpowNYf4_vgjultNT1Tnx2XH9ecs1TqD59MPs67Dp3ui"
array(2) {
  ["contact_ssn_last_four"]=>
  array(2) {
    ["type"]=>
    string(13) "3dywyifwujcu2"
    ["value"]=>
    string(4) "8058"
  }
  ["contact_ssn"]=>
  array(2) {
    ["type"]=>
    string(13) "2iztg3wbd7j5a"
    ["value"]=>
    string(8) "311314c1"
  }
}
*/

You can now use these values for inserting/updating records into your database.

To search the database at a later date, use getAllBlindIndexes() or getBlindIndex():

<?php
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\BlindIndex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\CipherSweet;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\EncryptedField;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Transformation\LastFourDigits;

/ @var CipherSweet $engine */
$ssn = (new EncryptedField($engine, 'contacts', 'ssn'))
    // Add a blind index for the "last 4 of SSN":
    ->addBlindIndex(
        new BlindIndex(
            // Name (used in key splitting):
            'contact_ssn_last_four',
            // List of Transforms: 
            [new LastFourDigits()],
            // Bloom filter size (bits)
            16
        )
    )
    // Add a blind index for the full SSN:
    ->addBlindIndex(
        new BlindIndex(
            'contact_ssn', 
            [],
            32
        )
    );

// Use these values in search queries:
$indexes = $ssn->getAllBlindIndexes('123-45-6789');
$lastFour = $ssn->getBlindIndex('123-45-6789', 'contact_ssn_last_four');

Which should result in the following (for the example key):

var_dump($lastFour);
/*
array(2) {
  ["type"]=>
  string(13) "3dywyifwujcu2"
  ["value"]=>
  string(4) "8058"
}
*/

var_dump($indexes);
/*
array(2) {
  ["contact_ssn_last_four"]=>
  array(2) {
    ["type"]=>
    string(13) "3dywyifwujcu2"
    ["value"]=>
    string(4) "8058"
  }
  ["contact_ssn"]=>
  array(2) {
    ["type"]=>
    string(13) "2iztg3wbd7j5a"
    ["value"]=>
    string(8) "311314c1"
  }
}
*/

EncryptedRow

An alternative approach for datasets with multiple encrypted rows and/or encrypted boolean fields is the EncryptedRow API, which looks like this:

<?php
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\BlindIndex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\CipherSweet;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\CompoundIndex;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\EncryptedRow;
use ParagonIE\CipherSweet\Transformation\LastFourDigits;

/ @var CipherSweet $engine */
// Define two fields (one text, one boolean) that will be encrypted
$row = (new EncryptedRow($engine, 'contacts'))
    ->addTextField('ssn')
    ->addBooleanField('hivstatus');

// Add a normal Blind Index on one field:
$row->addBlindIndex(
    'ssn',
    new BlindIndex(
        'contact_ssn_last_four',
        [new LastFourDigits()],
        32 // 32 bits = 4 bytes
    )
);

// Create/add a compound blind index on multiple fields:
$row->addCompoundIndex(
    (
        new CompoundIndex(
            'contact_ssnlast4_hivstatus',
            ['ssn', 'hivstatus'],
            32, // 32 bits = 4 bytes
            true // fast hash
        )
    )->addTransform('ssn', new LastFourDigits())
);

// Notice: You're passing an entire array at once, not a string
$prepared = $row->prepareRowForStorage([
    'extraneous' => true,
    'ssn' => '123-45-6789',
    'hivstatus' => false
]);

var_dump($prepared);
/*
array(2) {
  [0]=>
  array(3) {
    ["extraneous"]=>
    bool(true)
    ["ssn"]=>
    string(73) "nacl:wVMElYqnHrGB4hU118MTuANZXWHZjbsd0uK2N0Exz72mrV8sLrI_oU94vgsWlWJc84-u"
    ["hivstatus"]=>
    string(61) "nacl:ctWDJBn-NgeWc2mqEWfakvxkG7qCmIKfPpnA7jXHdbZ2CPgnZF0Yzwg="
  }
  [1]=>
  array(2) {
    ["contact_ssn_last_four"]=>
    array(2) {
      ["type"]=>
      string(13) "3dywyifwujcu2"
      ["value"]=>
      string(8) "805815e4"
    }
    ["contact_ssnlast4_hivstatus"]=>
    array(2) {
      ["type"]=>
      string(13) "nqtcc56kcf4qg"
      ["value"]=>
      string(8) "cbfd03c0"
    }
  }
}
*/

With the EncryptedRow API, you can encrypt a subset of all of the fields in a row, and create compound blind indexes based on multiple pieces of data in the dataset rather than a single field, without writing a ton of glue code.

Using CipherSweet with a Database

CipherSweet is database-agnostic, so you'll need to write some code that uses CipherSweet behind-the-scenes to encrypt data before storing it in a database, query the database based on blind indexes, and then use CipherSweet to decrypt the results.

See also: the examples directory.

Solutions for Common Problems with Searchable Encryption

See also: the solutions directory.