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Securing a MuleSoft Application Properties File

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Securing a MuleSoft Application Properties File

In this article, see a tutorial on how to secure a MuleSoft application properties file.

· Integration Zone ·
Free Resource

Introduction

It is very important to store the confidential and sensitive data in properties file encrypted. MuleSoft provides capabilities where you can encrypt single property or entire file. From MuleSoft documentation:

  • "Create a secure configuration properties file."

  • "Define secure properties in the file by enclosing the encrypted values between the sequence ![value]."

  • "Configure the file in the project with the Mule Secure Configuration Properties Extension module. The file must point to or include the decryption key."

MuleSoft provides a utility (secure-properties-tool.jar) that can be downloaded from here. This jar file is used to encrypt or decrypt the string or file.

You might also like: Property File Handling in Mule 4

Attributes

Before we create the properties file, let's understand some important attributes:

Attribute Name

Description

Name

A unique name for your global secure configuration properties.

Key

A word or phrase that you specify to unlock the properties value.

File

The location of the file that the key unlocks.

Encoding

Encoding of the file that the key unlocks. The default value is UTF-8.

File Level Encryption

Set to true if the file itself is entirely encrypted. Default value is false.

Algorithm

The type of algorithm you use to encrypt the content of the property.

Mode

The procedure that allows the Mule runtime engine to repeatedly use a block cipher with a single key. 

Setting Up Mule Secure Configuration Property Extension

By default, you will not find the Mule Secure Configuration Property extension in Anypoint Studio. You can install it from Exchange into your Anypoint Studio.



Create a Secure Configuration Properties File

The first step is to create a secure properties file. It can be .properties or .yaml file. MuleSoft recommends using a YAML configuration file because it allows the addition of type validations and auto-completion. The Mule Secure Configuration Properties Extension module enables you to configure these .yaml or .properties file types.

You can create secure configuration properties files either in src/main/resources in your Mule project or by using absolute paths.

Example YAML Properties File 

YAML


In the above properties file, we have encrypted passwords and stored in the file. Password is confidential, and it needs to be encrypted before storing it to the file. It is best practice to encrypt confidential and sensitive details.

We can use secure-properties-tool.jar file to encrypt or decrypt data.

Syntax For Encrypt the text/string

Plain Text


We will be using algorithms such as Blowfish and mode as CBC. Below is a command that has been used to encrypt passwords stored in a properties file.

java -jar secure-properties-tool.jar string encrypt Blowfish CBC mulesoft abcdef


The encrypted value needs to be added to the properties file as shown below:

![encryptedpassword]

This will tell the runtime that this particular value needs to decrypt.

We need to use the same key, algorithm, and mode for decrypting the data.

java -jar secure-properties-tool.jar string decrypt Blowfish CBC MuleSoft WXDKlr6GZfs=


Create Secure Configuration Property in Global Configuration

To create Secure Properties Config, you can use Global Configuration.

Provide the Properties File location, Key (can be used to encrypt and decrypt the text), Algorithm (can be Blowfish), and Mode to CBC.

Accessing Secure Property in MuleSoft Components

Secure property can be accessed in connector, DataWeave, etc.

To access property, we can use ${secure::propertyName}.

Supported Algorithms

AES (default), Blowfish, DES, DESede, RC2, and RCA.

The following algorithms can be used only if you configure a Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) Provider that adds support for them:

Camellia, CAST5, CAST6, Noekeon, Rijndael, SEED, Serpent, Skipjack, TEA, Twofish, XTEA, RC5, and RC6.

Supported Modes

CBC (default), CFB, ECB, and OFB.

Best Practices

  • It is recommended to keep separate properties file for each environment (eg. appName-dev.yaml, appName-test.yaml, appName-prod.yaml). 
  • It is recommended to use a .yaml file instead of a .properties file.
  • It is recommended to declare a global property for the environment (eg. mule.env).
  • Do not change mule.env property to prod or test but instead, pass as argument in the CI/CD pipeline maven command.

           mvn deploy -DmuleDeploy -Dmule.env=prod

  • All sensitive and confidential data like passwords and keys need to be encrypted before storing them in the property file.
  • Keep all connections and other properties in global.xml.

Now you know how to encrypt the sensitive and confidential data before storing it to Mule Properties File.

Further Reading

Mule: Load Properties as per the Environment (With Default Properties File)

Configuring Properties in Mule 4 vs Mule 3

Topics:
mulesoft ,integration ,tutorial ,mulesoft application properties file

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