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Cloud security projects with Spring Cloud Config Server and Vault
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Cloud Security

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

Every application (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 most simple 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 without a specific 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 from my GitHub repo. To use a local configuration instead (e.g. the one in the config-repo directory) you have to enable the native profile during startup and to provide a file system resource location containing the configuration, e.g.

The basic auth credentials (user/secret) are required when accessing the config server.


This folder contains all configuration files for all profiles used in the config-client and config-client-vault applications.


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 localhost:8888/encrypt -d secretToEncrypt -u user:secret
curl localhost:8888/decrypt -d secretToDecrypt -u user:secret


A local Vault server is required for the config-client-vault and the config-server-vault applications to work. Using Docker as described below is the recommended and fully initialized 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. The only thing you have to do is to unseal Vault with three out of the five unseal keys. The easiest way to do that is to open Vault web UI in your browser (http://localhost:8200/ui), otherwise you can execute vault operator unseal in the command line.

Key # Unseal Key
1 +KH72Bz6+KbwfNcqICGC08QdIyMjIpVwA5IwumZj+dxu
2 +eLBsx8JUXpR6KZY5+6sUYXK2UobYfq1k7u2vwwWxQUD
3 v6JBDA34C4/t7CNatOEtoxZJNLZMcZ1flX/R3Cbq0Pnn
4 kWgyk8nwaHLTIz/aN/IQMA5gLdYnqtb6XeV473S/qMNv
5 /eXaypXuVdeKKmG9NPIynMBbM3zG2HahYIWgIYdisbNz

The root token is s.WaK4N4tnBlvcffYHOg5BTTut

After that, you can start the Spring Boot applications as described below. The Docker Compose file docker-compose.yml launches Vault and the PostgreSQL database required in the config-client-vault project. You can launch Vault separately with the docker-compose-vault.yml file.

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 bootstrap.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.


This Spring Boot based web application contacts the Spring Cloud Config Server for 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 Swagger 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 provided Vault Docker image you can find the required steps to initialize Vault below.

vault server -config Docker/config/dev-file.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 kv-v2

# provide configuration data for the config-client-vault application
vault kv put kv-v2/config-client-vault"Config Client Vault" application.profile="Demo"

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

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

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

# enable and configure AppRole authentication
vault auth enable approle

# create roles with 1 hour TTL (can be renewed for up to 4 hours of its first creation)
vault write auth/approle/role/config-server \
    token_ttl=1h \
    token_max_ttl=4h \
vault read auth/approle/role/config-server/role-id
# update config-server-vault/bootstrap.yml with the returned role-id

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

vault write auth/approle/role/config-client \
    token_ttl=1h \
    token_max_ttl=4h \

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

vault write -f auth/approle/role/config-client/secret-id
# update config-client-vault/bootstrap.yml with the returned 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-write \
  db_name=config-client-vault \
  creation_statements="CREATE ROLE \"{{name}}\" \
    WITH LOGIN PASSWORD '{{password}}' VALID UNTIL '{{expiration}}'; \
  revocation_statements="ALTER ROLE \"{{name}}\" NOLOGIN;"\
  default_ttl="1h" \

# create the database connection
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
vault write --force /database/rotate-root/config-client-vault

# create new credentials
vault read database/creds/config-client-vault-write


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