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WSO2 ESB provides a secure vault that allows you to store encrypted passwords that are mapped to aliases. This approach allows you to use the aliases instead of the actual passwords in your configuration files for better security. For example, some configurations require the admin username and password. If the admin user password is "admin", you could use the alias UserManager.AdminUser.Password in your configuration file. You would then map that alias to the actual password "admin". At runtime, the ESB will look up this alias in the secure vault and then decrypt and use its password.

Mapping aliases to passwords

There are several aliases such as UserManager.AdminUser.Password already defined for you in the file in <ESB_HOME>/repository/conf/security. You map the aliases to plain-text passwords in this file (enter passwords in plain text in square brackets). For example:


You then run the cipher script to upload them to the secure vault. If you want to create custom aliases, add them to this file before running the script.

You can also add new aliases and passwords in the user interface by clicking Manage Passwords on the Main tab and then entering the vault key (alias) and its password.

Configuring the secure vault

By default, the ESB instance's primary key store (<ESB_HOME>/repository/resources/security/wso2carbon.jks) is used as the secure vault. If you want to use another key store or ciphertext properties file, or if you want to use a custom callback class to handle decryption, modify the <ESB_HOME>/repository/conf/security/ file. For more information on configuring the secure vault and creating custom callback classes, see WSO2 Carbon Secure Vault in the Carbon documentation.

Running the cipher script

To store passwords in the secure vault, run the ciphertool script from the command line as follows:

On Windows:

ciphertool.bat -Dconfigure


sh -Dconfigure

This script reads the aliases and plain-text passwords in, encrypts the passwords, and stores them in the secure vault. It uses the settings in the file described above.

Encrypting and storing new passwords via the Management Console

Follow the steps below to encrypt and store new passwords via the ESB Management Console.

  1. Run the cipher script as specified above to set up the secure vault environment.
  2. Click the Main tab on the Management Console, go to Manage -> Secure Vault Tool and then click Manage Passwords. The Secure Vault Password Management screen appears.
  3. Click Add New Password to encrypt and store, and then specify values for the following fields:
    Vault Key - The alias for the password.
    Password -  The actual password.
    Re-enter password - The password that you specified as the actual password. 

    This creates a new password entry in the registry encrypted with the alias that you specified.

If you need to retrieve this password in your ESB configuration, you can use the {wso2:vault-lookup('alias')}custom path expression to logically reference the password mapping. See the next section for information on how to use an alias in your configuration.

Using encrypted passwords in synapse configurations

To use an alias in your synapse configuration, you add {wso2:vault-lookup('xx')} to your configuration, where xx is the alias.
For example, instead of hard-coding the admin user's password as follows: <Password>admin</Password>

You can encrypt and store the password with the alias AdminUser.Password, and retrieve this password in your ESB synapse configuration as follows:


This configuration only encrypts the password within the synapse configuration.

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