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boxconn GoDoc

boxconn adds encryption and authentication to a network connection. It uses the NaCL box library to encrypt messages.


I wanted something simpler than TLS, but still assymetric. Key distribution is entirely manual: every client / server should have their own set of keys, and their public keys should be added to their corresponding counterpart. For example a server will look like this:

listener, _ := boxconn.Listen("tcp",":5000", serverPrivateKey, serverPublicKey, clientPublicKey)

for {
	conn, _ := listener.Accept()


And the client will look like this:

conn, _ := boxconn.Dial("tcp", ":5000", clientPrivateKey, clientPublicKey, serverPublicKey)

If you already have a connection you can use Handshake:

bc, _ := boxconn.Handshake(conn, clientPrivateKey, clientPublicKey, serverPublicKey)

To generate keys use

// these are *[32]byte not [32]byte so you'll need to do
//   *clientPrivateKey, *clientPublicKey, *serverPublicKey
publicKey, privateKey, err := box.GenerateKey()

Keys are pretty small and are just byte arrays so you can store / marshal them however you want.


  • Although this library is very simple and is built on top of a pretty solid foundation, I'm not entirely sure it's secure. You're probably better off using TLS. But its a bit of a chore to setup everything. You'll need to create a root CA certificate, then sign all your private keys, and enforce verification using TLS config.

  • Then again TLS hasn't had the best track record lately. Major vulnerabilites seem to be discovered about twice a year or so. 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6

  • The library encrypts every Write as a separate message. You should probably use buffering on top of the connection (not a terrible idea anyway), or just be careful about not writing super small messages. It will work, and it's still secure, it's just inefficient.

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