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OpenSSL extension for PHP4

The functions implemented so far make it possible to seal and open data,
and also create and verify signatures. To enable the extension, configure
PHP with --with-openssl.


int openssl_get_privatekey(string key [, string passphrase])

Parses the key data and returns a key resource identifier. If the key is
encrypted a passphrase is needed. This can be supplied as second argument.

int openssl_get_publickey(string cert)

Extracts the public key from the given certificate and returns a key
resource identifier.

void openssl_free_key(int key)

Frees the resource given by the key resource identifier.

bool openssl_sign(string data, string signature, int key)

Uses key to create signature for data, returns true on success and false
on failure.

int openssl_verify(string data, string signature, int key)

Uses key to verify that the signature is correct for the given data.
Returns 1 if correct, 0 if incorrect, and -1 on error.

int openssl_seal(string data, string sealdata, array ekeys, array pubkeys)

Encrypts data using pubkeys, so that only owners of the respective private
keys and ekeys can decrypt and read the data. Returns the length of the
sealed data on success, else false.

bool openssl_open(string data, string opendata, string ekey, int privkey)

Opens (decrypts) sealed data using a private key and the corresponding
envelope key. Returns true on success and false on failure.

See below for more details on usage. Also feel free to mail me at if you have questions. The OpenSSL documentation,
especially the EVP documentation at, might also be of help.


To do anything you need a private key and a certificate containing the
corresponding public key. This is similar to what you have using say an
Apache webserver with OpenSSL. For testing you could try keys that come
with OpenSSL, that's what the sample scripts below do. You can also get
keys from some CA, or you can create them yourself.

Creating private key

To generate an unprotected 1024 bit RSA private key you can do

   openssl genrsa -out /tmp/test.key 1024

Private keys should be protected by a passphrase though.

Creating a self signed certificate

To generate a self signed certificate from the key that is valid for
365 days, do

    openssl req -new -key /tmp/test.key -out /tmp/test.crt -days 365 -x509

Example usage

These examples use keys that come with OpenSSL, you should perhaps test with
those first.

Seal and open

     $data = "Follow the white rabbit";

     // Get certificate into a string
     // this file comes with OpenSSL 0.9.6
     $fp = fopen("/src/openssl-0.9.6/demos/maurice/cert.pem", "r");
     $cert = fread($fp, 8192);
     // get public key from certificate
     $pk1 = openssl_get_publickey($cert);
     // $pk1 is an encryption key resource id if success, else false
     // Repeat if want public keys for multiple parties

     $fp = fopen("/src/openssl-0.9.6/demos/sign/cert.pem", "r");
     $cert = fread($fp, 8192);
     $pk2 = openssl_get_publickey($cert);

     // seal data, only owners of $pk1 and $pk2 can decrypt $sealed with keys
     // $ekeys[0] and $ekeys[1] respectively.
     openssl_seal($data, $sealed, $ekeys, array($pk1,$pk2));

     // now we try to decrypt data for one of the recipients
     $fp = fopen("/src/openssl-0.9.6/demos/sign/key.pem", "r");
     // Get PEM coded key into $pkey 
     $pkey = fread($fp, 8192);
     // $key will be resource id for unpacked $pkey
     $key = openssl_get_privatekey($pkey);

     openssl_open($sealed, $open, $ekeys[1], $key);
     echo "$open\n";

Sign and verify

     $data = "Follow the white rabbit";

     // First we need to have a string containing the private key in PEM format
     // this file comes with OpenSSL 0.9.6
     $fp = fopen("/src/openssl-0.9.6/demos/sign/key.pem", "r");
     $pkey = fread($fp, 8192);

     // get private key from the PEM format
     // $key is an encr key resource id if success, else false
     $key = openssl_get_privatekey($pkey);

     // calculate signature
     openssl_sign($data, $signature, $key);

     // recipient verifies signature
     // read certificate
     $fp = fopen("/src/openssl-0.9.6/demos/sign/cert.pem", "r");
     $cert = fread($fp, 8192);

     // Get public key from the certificate
     $pubkey = openssl_get_publickey($cert);

     // state whether signature is okay or not
     echo openssl_verify($data, $signature, $pubkey) == 1 ? "ok\n" : "bad\n";

     // free key
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