Section C.2. Using mcrypt

C.2. Using mcrypt

The standard PHP extension for cryptography is mcrypt, and it supports a number of different cryptographic algorithms. To see which ones are supported on your platform, use the mcrypt_list_algorithms( ) function:

     <?php     echo '<pre>' . print_r(mcrypt_list_algorithms(), TRUE) . '</pre>';     ?> 

Encrypting and decrypting data are achieved by using mcrypt_encrypt( ) and mcrypt_decrypt( ), respectively. Each of these functions accepts five arguments, the first of which is the algorithm to use:

     <?php     mcrypt_encrypt($algorithm,                    $key,                    $cleartext,                    $mode,                    $iv);     mcrypt_decrypt($algorithm,                    $key,                    $ciphertext,                    $mode,                    $iv);     ?> 

The key (second argument) is extremely sensitive, so you want to be sure to keep this in a safe place. The technique described in Chapter 8 for protecting your database access credentials can be used to protect the key. A hardware key provides superior security, and this is the best choice for those who can afford it.

There are numerous modes that you can use, and you can use mcrypt_list_modes( ) to view a list of available modes:

     <?php     echo '<pre>' . print_r(mcrypt_list_modes(), TRUE) . '</pre>';     ?> 

The fifth argument ($iv) is the initialization vector, and it is created with the mcrypt_create_iv( ) function.

The following is an example class that offers basic methods for encrypting and decrypting:

     class crypt     {       private $algorithm;       private $mode;       private $random_source;       public $cleartext;       public $ciphertext;       public $iv;       public function __construct($algorithm = MCRYPT_BLOWFISH,                                   $mode = MCRYPT_MODE_CBC,                                   $random_source = MCRYPT_DEV_URANDOM)       {         $this->algorithm = $algorithm;         $this->mode = $mode;         $this->random_source = $random_source;       }       public function generate_iv()       {         $this->iv = mcrypt_create_iv(mcrypt_get_iv_size($this->algorithm,           $this->mode), $this->random_source);       }       public function encrypt()       {         $this->ciphertext = mcrypt_encrypt($this->algorithm,           $_SERVER['CRYPT_KEY'], $this->cleartext, $this->mode, $this->iv);       }       public function decrypt()       {         $this->cleartext = mcrypt_decrypt($this->algorithm,           $_SERVER['CRYPT_KEY'], $this->ciphertext, $this->mode, $this->iv);       }     }     ?> 

This class is referenced in other examples; the following example demonstrates its use:

     <?php     $crypt = new crypt();     $crypt->cleartext = 'This is a string';     $crypt->generate_iv();     $crypt->encrypt();     $ciphertext = base64_encode($crypt->ciphertext);     $iv = base64_encode($crypt->iv);     unset($crypt);     /* Store $ciphertext and $iv (initialization vector). */     $ciphertext = base64_decode($ciphertext);     $iv = base64_decode($iv);     $crypt = new crypt();     $crypt->iv = $iv;     $crypt->ciphertext = $ciphertext;     $crypt->decrypt();     $cleartext = $crypt->cleartext;     ?> 

This extension requires you to compile PHP with the with-mcrypt flag. See for requirements and installation instructions.

Essential PHP Security
Essential PHP Security
ISBN: 059600656X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 110

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