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Fernet (symmetric encryption)

.. currentmodule:: cryptography.fernet

Fernet guarantees that a message encrypted using it cannot be manipulated or read without the key. Fernet is an implementation of symmetric (also known as "secret key") authenticated cryptography. Fernet also has support for implementing key rotation via :class:`MultiFernet`.

This class provides both encryption and decryption facilities.

>>> from cryptography.fernet import Fernet
>>> key = Fernet.generate_key()
>>> f = Fernet(key)
>>> token = f.encrypt(b"my deep dark secret")
>>> token
b'...'
>>> f.decrypt(token)
b'my deep dark secret'
param bytes key:A URL-safe base64-encoded 32-byte key. This must be kept secret. Anyone with this key is able to create and read messages.
.. classmethod:: generate_key()

    Generates a fresh fernet key. Keep this some place safe! If you lose it
    you'll no longer be able to decrypt messages; if anyone else gains
    access to it, they'll be able to decrypt all of your messages, and
    they'll also be able forge arbitrary messages that will be
    authenticated and decrypted.

.. method:: encrypt(data)

    Encrypts data passed. The result of this encryption is known as a
    "Fernet token" and has strong privacy and authenticity guarantees.

    :param bytes data: The message you would like to encrypt.
    :returns bytes: A secure message that cannot be read or altered
                    without the key. It is URL-safe base64-encoded. This is
                    referred to as a "Fernet token".
    :raises TypeError: This exception is raised if ``data`` is not
                       ``bytes``.

    .. note::

        The encrypted message contains the current time when it was
        generated in *plaintext*, the time a message was created will
        therefore be visible to a possible attacker.

.. method:: decrypt(token, ttl=None)

    Decrypts a Fernet token. If successfully decrypted you will receive the
    original plaintext as the result, otherwise an exception will be
    raised. It is safe to use this data immediately as Fernet verifies
    that the data has not been tampered with prior to returning it.

    :param bytes token: The Fernet token. This is the result of calling
                        :meth:`encrypt`.
    :param int ttl: Optionally, the number of seconds old a message may be
                    for it to be valid. If the message is older than
                    ``ttl`` seconds (from the time it was originally
                    created) an exception will be raised. If ``ttl`` is not
                    provided (or is ``None``), the age of the message is
                    not considered.
    :returns bytes: The original plaintext.
    :raises cryptography.fernet.InvalidToken: If the ``token`` is in any
                                              way invalid, this exception
                                              is raised. A token may be
                                              invalid for a number of
                                              reasons: it is older than the
                                              ``ttl``, it is malformed, or
                                              it does not have a valid
                                              signature.
    :raises TypeError: This exception is raised if ``token`` is not
                       ``bytes``.

.. method:: extract_timestamp(token)

    .. versionadded:: 2.3

    Returns the timestamp for the token. The caller can then decide if
    the token is about to expire and, for example, issue a new token.

    :param bytes token: The Fernet token. This is the result of calling
                        :meth:`encrypt`.
    :returns int: The UNIX timestamp of the token.
    :raises cryptography.fernet.InvalidToken: If the ``token``'s signature
                                              is invalid this exception
                                              is raised.
    :raises TypeError: This exception is raised if ``token`` is not
                       ``bytes``.
.. versionadded:: 0.7

This class implements key rotation for Fernet. It takes a list of :class:`Fernet` instances and implements the same API with the exception of one additional method: :meth:`MultiFernet.rotate`:

>>> from cryptography.fernet import Fernet, MultiFernet
>>> key1 = Fernet(Fernet.generate_key())
>>> key2 = Fernet(Fernet.generate_key())
>>> f = MultiFernet([key1, key2])
>>> token = f.encrypt(b"Secret message!")
>>> token
b'...'
>>> f.decrypt(token)
b'Secret message!'

MultiFernet performs all encryption options using the first key in the list provided. MultiFernet attempts to decrypt tokens with each key in turn. A :class:`cryptography.fernet.InvalidToken` exception is raised if the correct key is not found in the list provided.

Key rotation makes it easy to replace old keys. You can add your new key at the front of the list to start encrypting new messages, and remove old keys as they are no longer needed.

Token rotation as offered by :meth:`MultiFernet.rotate` is a best practice and manner of cryptographic hygiene designed to limit damage in the event of an undetected event and to increase the difficulty of attacks. For example, if an employee who had access to your company's fernet keys leaves, you'll want to generate new fernet key, rotate all of the tokens currently deployed using that new key, and then retire the old fernet key(s) to which the employee had access.

.. method:: rotate(msg)

    .. versionadded:: 2.2

    Rotates a token by re-encrypting it under the :class:`MultiFernet`
    instance's primary key. This preserves the timestamp that was originally
    saved with the token. If a token has successfully been rotated then the
    rotated token will be returned. If rotation fails this will raise an
    exception.

    .. doctest::

       >>> from cryptography.fernet import Fernet, MultiFernet
       >>> key1 = Fernet(Fernet.generate_key())
       >>> key2 = Fernet(Fernet.generate_key())
       >>> f = MultiFernet([key1, key2])
       >>> token = f.encrypt(b"Secret message!")
       >>> token
       b'...'
       >>> f.decrypt(token)
       b'Secret message!'
       >>> key3 = Fernet(Fernet.generate_key())
       >>> f2 = MultiFernet([key3, key1, key2])
       >>> rotated = f2.rotate(token)
       >>> f2.decrypt(rotated)
       b'Secret message!'

    :param bytes msg: The token to re-encrypt.
    :returns bytes: A secure message that cannot be read or altered without
       the key. This is URL-safe base64-encoded. This is referred to as a
       "Fernet token".
    :raises cryptography.fernet.InvalidToken: If a ``token`` is in any
       way invalid this exception is raised.
    :raises TypeError: This exception is raised if the ``msg`` is not
       ``bytes``.

See :meth:`Fernet.decrypt` for more information.

Using passwords with Fernet

It is possible to use passwords with Fernet. To do this, you need to run the password through a key derivation function such as :class:`~cryptography.hazmat.primitives.kdf.pbkdf2.PBKDF2HMAC`, bcrypt or :class:`~cryptography.hazmat.primitives.kdf.scrypt.Scrypt`.

>>> import base64
>>> import os
>>> from cryptography.fernet import Fernet
>>> from cryptography.hazmat.backends import default_backend
>>> from cryptography.hazmat.primitives import hashes
>>> from cryptography.hazmat.primitives.kdf.pbkdf2 import PBKDF2HMAC
>>> password = b"password"
>>> salt = os.urandom(16)
>>> kdf = PBKDF2HMAC(
...     algorithm=hashes.SHA256(),
...     length=32,
...     salt=salt,
...     iterations=100000,
...     backend=default_backend()
... )
>>> key = base64.urlsafe_b64encode(kdf.derive(password))
>>> f = Fernet(key)
>>> token = f.encrypt(b"Secret message!")
>>> token
b'...'
>>> f.decrypt(token)
b'Secret message!'

In this scheme, the salt has to be stored in a retrievable location in order to derive the same key from the password in the future.

The iteration count used should be adjusted to be as high as your server can tolerate. A good default is at least 100,000 iterations which is what Django recommended in 2014.

Implementation

Fernet is built on top of a number of standard cryptographic primitives. Specifically it uses:

For complete details consult the specification.

Limitations

Fernet is ideal for encrypting data that easily fits in memory. As a design feature it does not expose unauthenticated bytes. Unfortunately, this makes it generally unsuitable for very large files at this time.