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Change Encryption key of secret field store

This article is valid for Smart ID 20.06.1 and later.

This article describes how to change the secret fields encryption keypair in Smart ID Identity Manager. The keys are changed using an application provided by Nexus. This application is referenced as Secret Fields Key Updater in this article.

Some of the use cases where you might need to change the fields encryption keypair are:

  • You started using a productive Identity Manager installation while still using the supplied, insecure example keys. Those must be replaced by your own keys and any existing secret fields must be re-keyed with those keys.
  • You started using an Identity Manager installation based on soft-tokens for encrypting secret fields, and you want to improve security by switching to keys generated by a Hardware Security Module (HSM). Any existing keys must be re-keyed with the new keys.
  • The keys for secret field encryption have been compromised and existing secrets need to be re-keyed with new keys.
  • You want to change the keys for encryption of secret fields for any other reason and have existing secret fields in the database.

This is a summary of what must be in place before the migration starts.

  • A Windows host.
  • The same Java version as for the corresponding Identity Manager release is installed and its java.exe in your PATH. See IDM 23.10.3 - Requirements and interoperability.
  • Java has the Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy Files installed.
  • The new keypair has been generated.
  • For every tenant on the system have access to:
    • tenant ID
    • administrative username + password

Step-by-step instructions


Set up database connection
  1. Extract the zip archive containing the Secret Fields Key Updater.
  2. Go to the extracted Secret Fields Key Updater directory.
  3. Edit the file as appropriate. For more information on this file, see Install Identity Manager.

Identity Manager database


The database user must have read/write access to the Identity Manager database.

Data Encryption key set up
  1. Open the file config/encryption-config.xml.
  2. Update the EncryptedFields and NewEncryptedFields field descriptors and their referenced keys as described below. For more information on this file, see Sign and encrypt engine in Identity Manager.
    1. EncryptedFields is the old, to be replaced, descriptor. Adapt its values to match the ones that are currently set up in Identity Manager.
      In this example, EncryptedFields references oldEncCert as its key. Change the referenced key to match the one that is currently referenced in Identity Manager.
    2. NewEncryptedFields is the new descriptor, holding the information of the replacement key. Change its values accordingly.
      In this example, NewEncryptedFields references newEncCert as its key. Change the referenced key to match the key that will replace the old one in Identity Manager.

Example : encryption-config.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <descriptor name="EncryptedFields" version="1">
      <type algorithm="AES/CBC/PKCS7Padding" size="256" result="NX02" key="oldEncCert" asymCipher="RSA/None/OAEPWithSHA384AndMGF1Padding"/>
    <descriptor name="NewEncryptedFields" version="1">
      <type algorithm="AES/CBC/PKCS7Padding" size="256" result="NX02" key="newEncCert" asymCipher="RSA/None/OAEPWithSHA384AndMGF1Padding"/>
    <key name="oldEncCert">
      <type name="pkcs12" locationValue="classpath:oldEncKeypair.p12" pin="1234567"/>
    <key name="newEncCert">
      <type name="pkcs12" locationValue="classpath:newEncKeypair.p12" pin="1234"/>
Shutdown and backup

Before you start the migration:

  1. Stop the Identity Manager applications (shut down Tomcat or the respective docker containers by running docker compose down from within docker/compose/identitymanager/<webappname>/).
  2. Create a backup of the respective databases.

Migration per tenant

The secret field store in the database is tenant-aware, even though the descriptors and keys are not.
Therefore migration has to be executed separately for every single tenant before changing keys and descriptors in Identity Manager.

Configure migration for a tenant
  1. Edit and set the following values:

    Name of the administrator of the respective tenant. This user will be used to perform the update.


    The administrator's password.


    The Tenant ID.
Execute migration for a tenant
  1. Double-check that all preparation steps were executed, especially a database update of the state before migrating the first tenant.
  2. Start the Secret Fields Key Updater by executing the batch file start_migration.bat on Windows.

If the application is interrupted or fails, it can not continue at a later time. Instead, the database needs to be restored to the state it had before running the Secret Fields Key Updater. Use the database dump created earlier. The process can then be restarted at a later point, but it will process all entries again, starting at the very beginning.

Log file

During the migration, log files are created in the file logs/idm_migration.log.

If necessary, edit log4j.xml to customize the path of the log messages. 

Check for success
  1. When Secret Fields Key Updater is finished, look in the logfile.
    1. If you see the message "SUCCESS: Encrypted Fields Keypair changed!", the operation was successful. In this case, proceed with the next tenant, if any left, otherwise with the next section.
    2. If you see the message "FAILED: Changing the Encrypted Fields Keypair FAILED with status ...", the application has failed. Restore your database from the dump you created earlier and contact Nexus.

After migration of all tenants

Make sure update is sucessful
  1. Make sure the Secret Fields Key Updater successfully ran for every single tenant on the system.
Set up Identity Manager to use the new keypair
  1. For docker:
    Open docker/compose/identitymanager/config/signencrypt.xml for editing.
    For WAR file deployment: 

    Open WEB-INF/classes/engineSignEncrypt.xml in Identity Manager Operator, Identity Manager Admin and Identity Manager Tenant for editing.
  2. Change the attributes of the EncryptedFields descriptor and its referenced key to the values needed for the new keypair, as you set them for the NewEncryptedFields descriptor in the migration application. Note that the descriptor's name must still be EncryptedFields and not NewEncryptedFields for Identity Manager.
  3. For docker:
    Run docker compose up from within  docker/compose/identitymanager/<webappname>/ for all Identity Manager applications (Admin, Operator and Tenant) to recreate the docker containers.
    For WAR file deployment:
    Start Identity Manager.
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