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mongoose-encrypt

mongoose-encrypt

Transparent encryption for Mongoose fields with built-in password migration.

Allows you to easily encrypt String fields using aes-256-cbc.

Idea

Store a timestamp along the encrypted data to allow painless password migration.

The data that is stored in MongoDB as base64 encoded strings and consists of (from left to right)

  • the string ENCRYPTED___ to handle a mix of encrypted/unencrypted data (you can drop this plugin into your existing data),
  • 8 chars representing the seconds since the Unix epoch in hex (for range query pleasure and password migration),
  • a 16 chars (8 byte) salt hex string which is randomly generated for every encrypted string and appended to the password before encrypting and decrypting,
  • and the encrypted data itself as base64 string.

Usage

First npm install mongoose-encrypt.

Now imagine a website where users sign up with their Twitter account. It's probably a good idea to encrypt the OAuth token.

var encrypt = require('mongoose-encrypt');
 
var userSchema = new Schema({
    createdAt: Date,
    twitter: {
        name: String,
        token: String
    }
});
 
userSchema.plugin(encrypt, {
    paths: ['twitter.token'],
    password: function(date) {
        //Return the correct password for the given date. 
        //As long as you don't need to migrate to a new password, just return the current one. 
        return process.env.AES_ENCRYPTION_PASSWORD;
    }
});

That's it! The plugin sets up a getter and setter to decrypt and encrypt each path on the fly using aes-256-cbc.

Use cases

As mentioned above storing OAuth tokens or similar in plain text is probably a bad idea. Additional this plugin was created to securely store bank account data on behalf of users.

Heads up

I'm not a security expert. Not at all. If you have any concerns regarding this plugin please create an issue (or contact me via e-mail if it's a critical issue).

Also:

  • It's a good idea to not store or hardcode the encryption key (the example uses an environment variable)
  • This plugin will only secure your data in case someone gets access directly to your database (physically or otherwise)
  • You still need to make sure the data is transmitted securely (e.g. using TLS)
  • If someone gets access to your application server (not just the database), you're screwed anyway