In this config we will show you a number of examples how to use
mcrypt tool to easily encrypt files whether the file is large or small in size. We will also use Mcrypt to encrypt and compress files and directories on the fly which can be usefully for a number of backup and scripting purposes.
UBUNTU/DEBIAN # apt-get install mcrypt REDHAT/FEDORA/CENTOS # yum install mcrypt
Creating a testing sandbox
Let’s first create a directory with some files we can work with:
$ mkdir dir1 $ cd dir1/ $ echo "My File to Encrypt" > file1 $ cat file1 My File to Encrypt $ fallocate -l 500MB file2 $ md5sum file* bccd44aaa84c7c9d04a268f670ae92c5 file1 4034379ecc54213fc9a51785a9d0e8e2 file2
With the above commands we have created a directory
dir1. Within our directory we have created two files
file1 a simple text file and
file2 of 500MB in size and contains some random binary data. Next, we have generated md5sum for both files so we can compare our files after decryption.
Basic file encryption and decryption
At this stage we can start with a simple file encryption and decryption examples. The following linux command will encrypt
file1 with a passphrase entered by user during the
mcrypt command execution:
$ mcrypt file1 Enter the passphrase (maximum of 512 characters) Please use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers. Enter passphrase: Enter passphrase: File file1 was encrypted. $ ls -l total 488292 -rw-rw-r--. 1 lrendek lrendek 19 Jan 15 18:24 file1 -rw-------. 1 lrendek lrendek 125 Jan 15 18:24 file1.nc -rw-r--r--. 1 lrendek lrendek 500000000 Jan 15 18:24 file2
The output of the above encryption Mcrypt command is
To encrypt both files at once we could supply both file names on the command line and enter encryption passphrase for both files separately. Instead it is easier but less secure to use the passphrase on the command line. Example:
$ mcrypt file1 file2 -k abc123 Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1 was encrypted. File file2 was encrypted.
Both files have been encrypted with a passphrase
At this stage we can try to use Mcrypt’s decompression facilities. Let’s decrypt our
-rw-------. 1 lrendek lrendek 124 Jan 15 18:24 file1.nc
mkdir dir2 $ mv file*.nc dir2/ $ cd dir2/ $ ls file1.nc file2.nc $ mcrypt -d file1.nc Enter passphrase: File file1.nc was decrypted.
The same way we can also decrypt both files at once:
$ mcrypt -k abc123 -d file1.nc file2.nc Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1.nc was decrypted. File file2.nc was decrypted.
and compare decrypted files with the previous md5sum output:
$ md5sum file[1,2] bccd44aaa84c7c9d04a268f670ae92c5 file1 4034379ecc54213fc9a51785a9d0e8e2 file2
Encryption with compression
Mcrypt also offers an option to compress files with gzip before the actual compression takes place. Consider a following example:
$ mcrypt -k abc123 -z file1 Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1 was encrypted. $ file file1.gz.nc file1.gz.nc: mcrypt 2.5 encrypted data, algorithm: rijndael-128, keysize: 32 bytes, mode: cbc,
In the above example the file
file1 was compressed with gzip before it was encrypted with mcrypt. To decrypt gzip compressed file we simply reverse the procedure. First decrypt your file:
$ mcrypt -k abc123 -d file1.gz.nc Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1.gz.nc was decrypted.
and then decompress the output with
$ gunzip -v file1.gz file1.gz: -10.5% -- replaced with file1
Once again to confirm a validity of the above procedure we use md5sum:
$ md5sum file1 bccd44aaa84c7c9d04a268f670ae92c5 file1
Directory encryption with Mcrypt
In order to encrypt directories with
mcrypt we we first need to use
tar on the directory. The next command example will encrypt our entire initial directory
$ tar cz dir1/ | mcrypt -k abc123 > dir1.tar.gz.nc Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line Stdin was encrypted. $ file dir1.tar.gz.nc dir1.tar.gz.nc: mcrypt 2.5 encrypted data, algorithm: rijndael-128, keysize: 32 bytes, mode: cbc,
Let’s create yet another directory called
dir3 which we will use to decrypt the above directory
dir1 from file
$ mkdir dir3 $ mv dir1.tar.gz.nc dir3/ $ cd dir3/ $ ls dir1.tar.gz.nc
As with the files we first need to decrypt our encrypted archive:
$ mcrypt -k abc123 -d dir1.tar.gz.nc Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File dir1.tar.gz.nc was decrypted.
Once the archive is decrypted we can decompress it with
$ tar xzf dir1.tar.gz
and compare md5sum
$ md5sum dir1/file[1,2] bccd44aaa84c7c9d04a268f670ae92c5 dir1/file1 4034379ecc54213fc9a51785a9d0e8e2 dir1/file2
Changing Mcrypt’s encryption algorithm
use the following linux command to list all encryption algorithms available to your disposal:
$ mcrypt --list-hash Supported Hash Algorithms: crc32 md5 sha1 haval256 ripemd160 tiger gost crc32b haval224 haval192 haval160 haval128 tiger128 tiger160 md4 sha256 adler32 sha224 sha512 sha384 whirlpool ripemd128 ripemd256 ripemd320 snefru128 snefru256 md2
To change an encryption algorithm is a quite easy task with mcrypt’s
-h option. Simply choose one of the above listed algorithms and use
-h to specify it on the command line. For example the below algorithm will encrypt our
file1 with the
whirlpool encryption algorithm:
$ mcrypt -k abc123 -h whirlpool file1 Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1 was encrypted.
It is also possible to create a configuration file so mcrypt’s options can be committed on the command line. This is a great feature especially for scripting etc. For example we can create a config file with a default passphrase
$ echo "key abc123" > ~/.mcryptrc $ mcrypt file1 Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1 was encrypted. $ mcrypt -k abc123 -d file1.nc Warning: It is insecure to specify keywords in the command line File file1.nc was decrypted.