Django Rotate Secret Key
Helps rotating your secret keys safely without losing user sessions, which means without logging users out.
Compatible with modern Django versions. At the moment of writing that's including 1.11 and 2.0 on Python 3.7.
I haven't found any library to allow us to do this on our production website, so I started the library.
Once you change the
SECRET_KEY on production, all the old sessions and cookies are invalidated,
users are logged out and data in sessions are lost.
This is good if your
SECRET_KEY is compromised!
But not good if you just want to rotate in a regular schedule for security purposes.
This library allows you to continue supporting old sessions signed with your old secret key, while rewriting them with the new secret key if the user comes to the website.
So optimal schedule would be
- you decide to rotate your secret key
- Support both keys for a limited time (x months)
- Roll back
django-rotate-secret-keyand keep your secret key the same (removing the old one)
If a user comes back to the website after x months, his session will be invalidated. But for all the regular users this should be seamless transition.
If you are using JWT tokens created by
django-rest-framework-jwt, currently package is not compatible.
$ pip install django-rotate-secret-key
This is safe to do even before you decide to rotate your keys, it basically has no effect before you change the settings.:
INSTALLED_APPS = ( ... 'rotatesecretkey', ... )
Replace AuthenticationMiddleware with RotateAuthenticationMiddleware:
MIDDLEWARE = [ ... # 'django.contrib.auth.middleware.AuthenticationMiddleware', 'rotatesecretkey.middleware.RotateAuthenticationMiddleware', ... ]
SESSION_ENGINE = 'rotatesecretkey.sessions'
Add the old secret key into OLD_SECRET_KEY, and create a new
SECRET_KEY = 'NEWRANDOMKEY' OLD_SECRET_KEY = 'your_previous_secret_key_that_you_want_to_support'
Once these changes go live your website will decode old sessions with
the OLD_SECRET_KEY and resign them with the new
After some time (like 1 or 2 months) you should roll these changes back and just keep the
SECRET_KEY = 'NEWRANDOMKEY'
You don't want to support
OLD_SECRET_KEY forever but long enough to give your visitors a
chance to visit the website and rewrite their sessions with the new key.
Things to keep in mind
This library allows keeping Sessions intact and allowing seamless transition for your visitors, if you are using Django's signing features manually for other purposes (like signing your backups etc.) a generic library cannot take it into account.
What SECRET_KEY doesn't break
Even if you don't use this library SECRET_KEY is not used to encrypt user password or OAUTH tokens. So you shouldn't worry about them during your key rotation.