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Cloud Security

This repository contains cloud security projects with Spring Boot, Spring Cloud Config and Vault. It shows different possibilities how to store secrets securely for local and cloud based Spring Boot web applications.

Every web application in this repository (clients and config servers) exposes all Spring Actuator endpoints at the default /actuator endpoint.





The standalone application is using Jasypt for Spring Boot to secure sensitive configuration properties. This demo application shows the simplest way to encrypt sensitive properties without requiring another service or system. You have to provide an environment variable named jasypt.encryptor.password with the value sample-password to decrypt the database password during application start. After launching, http://localhost:8080 shows basic application information.

Spring Cloud Config

All client applications use Spring Cloud Config to separate code and configuration and therefore require a running config server before starting the actual application.


This project contains the Spring Cloud Config server which must be started like a Spring Boot application before using the config-client web application. After starting the config server with the default profile, the server is available on port 8888 and will use the configuration files provided in the config-repo folder in my GitHub repository. Starting the config server without a profile therefore requires Internet access to read the configuration files

There are two application configurations available:

  • config-client with the profile cipher
  • config-client with the profile plain


This Spring Boot based web application exposes the REST endpoints /, /users and /credentials. Depending on the active Spring profile, the configuration files used are not encrypted (plain) or secured using Spring Config encryption functionality (cipher). There is no default profile available, so you have to provide a specific profile during start.

Profile plain

Configuration files are not protected at all, even sensitive configuration properties are stored in plain text.

Profile cipher

This profile uses Config Server functionality to encrypt sensitive properties. It requires either a symmetric or asymmetric key. The sample is based on asymmetric encryption and is using a keystore (server.jks) which was created with the following command:

keytool -genkeypair -alias configserver -storetype JKS -keyalg RSA \
  -dname "CN=Config Server,OU=Unit,O=Organization,L=City,S=State,C=Germany" \
  -keypass secret -keystore server.jks -storepass secret

The Config Server endpoints help to encrypt and decrypt data:

curl http://localhost:8888/encrypt -d secretToEncrypt
curl http://localhost:8888/decrypt -d secretToDecrypt


A local Vault server is required for the config-client-vault and the config-server-vault applications to work. Using Vault in a Docker container with the pre-configured files available in this repository as described below is the recommended version.


Switch to the Docker directory in this repository and execute docker-compose up -d. This will launch a preconfigured Vault container which already contains all required configuration for the demo applications. A PostgreSQL database used for the dynamic database credentials demo is started as well.

The only thing left to do is to unseal Vault with three out of the five unseal keys. Open Vault web UI in your browser (http://localhost:8200/ui) and follow the instructions there.

# Unseal Key
1 MGR8tmfgLlcK8k54WtvIRLKHGOs/gh7+ySCD7GgIkLEm
2 c+xkPggSQyB3VZRR+Lg2MDKK27DlARiNnCf2VrkuEYyr
3 lHoa4BZSHiziMUHCBuVbQNzPLoLn+kwyvmm1cBfposLF
4 Q54oYXsNP6laAnWudVHPyWURUCJWejbukYj6lh6tz8n1
5 yxZgYjbcS+/EnL0QSV1eSSn32vXsFlEVGPkSQ9Iw6oFJ

Initial Root Token: s.JxDNItLGn69f5ev30SXoO6sY

After that, you can start the Spring Boot applications as described below. Note that all tokens and AppRoles expire, so you may have to create new ones as described in the Manual Vault Configuration section below.


This project contains the Spring Cloud Config server which must be started like a Spring Boot application before using the config-client-vault web application. After starting the config server without a specific profile, the server is available on port 8888 and will use the configuration provided in Vault. The application.yml requires a valid Vault token: this is already set for the Vault Docker container but must be updated in case you are using your own Vault. Clients (like a browser) that want to access any configuration must provide a valid Vault token as well via a X-Config-Token header.

There is only one application configuration config-client-vault with the profile default available.


This Spring Boot based web application contacts the Spring Cloud Config Server for the configuration and exposes the REST endpoints /, /credentials and /secrets. The /secrets endpoint communicates with Vault directly and provides POST and GET methods to read and write individual values to the configured Vault. You can use the applications openAPI UI on http://localhost:8080/swagger-ui.html to interact with all endpoints. This project requires a running PostgreSQL database and uses dynamic database credentials provided by Vault.

The bootstrap.yml file in the config-client-vault project does require valid credentials to access Vault. The active configuration is using AppRole, but Token support is available too.

Manual Vault Configuration

In case you don't want to use the configured Vault Docker container you can find all required commands to initialize Vault below:

vault server -config Docker/config/file-storage.hcl
export VAULT_ADDR=
vault operator init
export VAULT_TOKEN=[Root Token]
vault operator unseal [Key 1]
vault operator unseal [Key 2]
vault operator unseal [Key 3]

Execute the following commands in order to enable the required backend and other services and to provide the required data:

# enable secrets backend
vault secrets enable -path=secret kv-v2

# provide configuration data for the config-client-vault application
vault kv put secret/config-client-vault"Config Client Vault" config.client.vault.application.profile="Demo"

# import policy
vault policy write config-client-policy policies/config-client-policy.hcl

# create a token for config-client-vault
vault token create -policy=config-client-policy

# enable and configure AppRole authentication
vault auth enable approle

# create roles with 24 hour TTL (can be renewed for up to 48 hours of its first creation)
vault write auth/approle/role/config-client \
    token_ttl=24h \
    token_max_ttl=48h \

# update config-client-vault/bootstrap.yml with the returned role-id
vault read auth/approle/role/config-client/role-id

# update config-client-vault/bootstrap.yml with the returned secret-id
vault write -f auth/approle/role/config-client/secret-id

# enable the Transit backend and provide a key
vault secrets enable transit
vault write -f transit/keys/symmetric-sample-key

# enable dynamic database secrets
vault secrets enable database

# create an all privileges role
vault write database/roles/config_client_vault_all_privileges \
      db_name=config_client_vault \
      creation_statements="CREATE ROLE \"{{name}}\" \
        WITH LOGIN PASSWORD '{{password}}' VALID UNTIL '{{expiration}}'; \
        GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON ALL TABLES IN SCHEMA public TO \"{{name}}\";" \
      revocation_statements="ALTER ROLE \"{{name}}\" NOLOGIN;"\
      default_ttl="24h" \

# create the database connection (the database must already exist)
vault write database/config/config_client_vault \
    plugin_name=postgresql-database-plugin \
    allowed_roles="*" \
    connection_url="postgresql://{{username}}:{{password}}@postgres:5432/config_client_vault?sslmode=disable" \
    username="postgres" \
# force rotation for root user (will destroy the existing root password, make sure you have another one)
vault write --force /database/rotate-root/config_client_vault

# create new credentials
vault read database/creds/config_client_vault_all_privileges


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