1.2.0 • Public • Published

JSON Scrambler

TL;DR - Randomly mutates a JSON object to add, remove or change properties for testing purposes. Always returns back valid JSON.

What is this about?

Have you ever wanted to easily test your code's ability to handle unexpected or incorrect JSON? Not invalid JSON, but incorrect JSON.

JSON Scrambler will take any arbitrary valid JSON and use predefined modifiers to make random and unexpected changes to the document structure, returning a modified document that still parses as valid JSON.

You can control how subtle, or not subtle, the changes are. From simple modifications like adding extra keys or values, shuffling array positions, or replacing values with nulls, all the way up to returning a completely unrecognizable document from the input.

Why would I use this?

JSON Scrambler can be used for testing the robustness of any program that accepts JSON input (such as an API or microservice) by providing infinite variations on existing JSON documents in ways that are unpredictable and random.

Make sure your application doesn't assume that valid JSON is correct JSON!

See also JSON Scrambler Proxy for a simple container-based approach to proxy a JSON API and apply json-scrambler in transit.

Credit where it's due

This library was inspired by the well-known concept of fuzzing but with the added constraint that the scrambled input data needed to remain valid JSON on output.


To install json-scrambler, use npm:

$ npm install json-scrambler


import scramble from 'json-scrambler';

const json = '{
  "name": "First Last",
  "uid": 148,
  "stuff": [
    "Other Item",
        "someValue": "Twelve"

const scrambled = scramble(json, { chaos: 50 });

The chaos option controls how much the JSON is scrambled. A value of 0 makes no changes to the JSON and simply passes it through unchanged, while a value of 100 or higher will completely scramble the document. The default chaos is 10.

The contents of scrambled from the code above could then look like this:

  "KNsen": "kZsl",
  "B7CT": 148,
  "X4x": [
    "Other Item",
      { "someValue": "_&cN}#B2 6$D>R;?$/ul^K)Vg)fDW-Q)J:O WD1|" },
  "cV4i53J": []

It could also look like this:

  "name": "A8lIj;\\kxTgO OCIJP}EZ5@xh_hULMFFM`H,/tgC2Zg8$R;Pap+B1}0PA3jF~q7\\~Q|nD7=P0nMd<vbOCHrQwU(,!}IPyeM{9~s(w-.8CBq}PO2/bnNp;R.piXf6K84X]ADb626^ITi~c^x:9[oS3:mei=\\uE*Ai-}uPMj}L`Q0C`\\QMnj=PG>~t+mRx91y5]D!k-KN%:-` >1i#6Va[Xl?1TwaC)%4/br#H9.4,:OmH +V](kA%Y!CP=g5#=4)`YlXwf/O2Ci(@Xh{Sk=5e/7od*NOP2`^KhhzRGuVP8ry$_80tu1i3&USiZ03sE[5K|1O4SIm<kSQ(~NY%5Oyfo,9j,wlvUuZ1`Y#)q{,D&Ff~nv{]DCe^esvu9yc`NvodohFAOV>%UQ%q:4}Q*]k?q0fhn][<1( /}&Zh`M&r\\%?Lj8?mrVzF#)-D6av S5X+JBG3 ;!B:7YOc!jKG$/BJ^MI9Yj_)0o~`1bxzq}i#tG:(/D?hZ`^/*5*Vhs%N6JO.bD(VXSh.V)Kva[@<`W5<\\KI_xt}Dcq6hogfYWUB4-%ggH8`.b2Wq>jt>6~To/[yK*h2<PP6`w>qXEdaa|c%y8X! =\\48/p< d[hC.#N2C9b|2k4!C7c%.Z\\\\%@6f -#IN CnABLWvB(^wWl.0c3EtWS0=3&%ky&C4|{?8QL;WPTm$L oB1^Djl(0{5m9v9XrP=*LoR,S#~6HR~9]O+4=L`Ab1BWR I4rV<>2l^7teRm3i9357p=LkF#Jp;w7=}j]eh`qI&,0\\m\\9twH*=yy:aA<Pgk<W`WUCSZVqg+prP*/fenED[R#g+N2:C(&(7>=u4b:uLlp4=J?N(CK[#{zJVNaeL6v kSo:gC*%ZSLt{:~VkTU}!~#ydx_P+vXTgN,Fow",
  "0P5h6QN": 148,
  "a": [26238, null, "Other Item", "Item", 21056838324],
  "tSKn3XthzwuvxtLyOz6BDO2dO7zoeC8p51h6G82nTo2MC": [3409, "j<EqWGb"]

The scrambling can randomize strings, numbers and object keys. It can also add, remove or shuffle elements in an array, and insert or remove keys from objects.


The scramble(json[, options]) command accepts two parameters, the JSON to be scrambled and an optional options object.

The json property can be passed as a string or as a Javascript object and will be returned in the same format it was received.

Every property of options is optional and has a default value.

  • options: ScramblerOptions = {}
    • chaos: number - The amount of scrambling to do. Valid values between 0 and 100 (default: 10)
    • canBeNull: boolean - Indicates if values can be made null during scrambling (default: true)
    • nullOdds: number - Percentage chance between 0 and 100 that a value will be scrambled to null. Keep this low unless you want a lot of empty objects (default: 5)
    • preservedKeys: string[] - An array of keys that should not be scrambled (default: [])
    • preserveAllKeys: boolean - Indicates if all object keys should be preserved (default: false)
    • scrambleStructureOnly: boolean - Indicates if keys, strings and numbers should be preserved. Will only mutate the shape of objects and arrays. This necessarily sets preserveAllKeys to true. (default: false)
    • scrambleValuesOnly: boolean - Indicates if only values (strings and numbers) should be scrambled. This will preserve the shape of objects and array, and sets preserveAllKeys to true. (default: false)
    • wildKeys: boolean - Controls how readable scrambled object keys will be (default: false)
    • shuffleKeys: boolean - When set to true will shuffle key names using existing letters instead of generating new random strings (default: false)
    • shuffleStrings: boolean - When set to true will shuffle string values using existing letters instead of generating new random strings (default: false)
    • startingPoint: string - A JSONPath expression to indicate where to start scrambling in the document. Useful if you only care about a certain portion of a large document. If the expression matches more than one element, it only selects the first one. Still returns the full document after scrambling (default: none)
    • maxDepth: number - The maximum depth to recurse through the JSON structure. Adjust as needed (default: 30)


npm install
npm test


json-scrambler is licensed under the MIT license.



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