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README.md


title: "SlunkCrypt"

Introduction

SlunkCrypt is an experimental cross-platform cryptography library and command-line tool. A fully-featured GUI is provided for the Windows platform.

Please refer to the section encryption algorithm for more details!

Legal Warning

Use of SlunkCrypt may be illegal in countries where encryption is outlawed. We believe it is legal to use SlunkCrypt in many countries all around the world, but we are not lawyers, and so if in doubt you should seek legal advice before downloading it. You may find useful information at cryptolaw.org, which collects information on cryptography laws in many countries.

System Requirements

The SlunkCrypt library and the command-line application currently run on the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows (Windows XP SP-3, or later) — i686, x86-64 and ARM64
  • Linux (kernel version 3.17, or later) — i686, x86-64, ARM64 and MIPS
  • Various BSD flavors (tested on NetBSD 9.2, FreeBSD 13.0 and OpenBSD 7.0) — i686 and x86-64
  • Solaris (tested on Solaris 11.4 and OmniOS/illumos) — i686 and x86-64
  • GNU/Hurd (tested on Debian GNU/Hurd 0.9) — i686
  • Haiku (tested on Haiku R1/b3) — i686 and x86-64
  • Mac OS X (tested on “Big Sur”) — x86-64 and ARM64

The SlunkCrypt GUI application currently runs on the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows with .NET Framework 4.5 — can be installed on Windows Vista, or later

GUI Usage

This is how the graphical user interface (GUI) for SlunkCrypt looks on Windows 11:

Prerequisites

Please be sure to install the .NET Framework 4.5, or any later .NET Framework 4.x version, before running the SlunkCrypt GUI application:
https://dotnet.microsoft.com/download/dotnet-framework

Note: If you are running Windows 8 or later, then almost certainly a suitable version of the .NET Framework is already installed 😎

Settings

The following settings can be adjusted in the slunkcrypt-gui.exe.config configuration file:

  • DisableBusyIndicator:
    If set to true, the “busy indicator” animation will be disabled on application startup — default value: false.

  • ThreadCount:
    Specifies the number of worker threads to use — default value: 0 (i.e. detect the number of available processors and create one thread for each processor).

  • KeepIncompleteFiles:
    If set to true, incomplete or corrupted output files will not be deleted — default value: false.

Command-line Usage

This section describes the SlunkCypt command-line application.

Synopsis

The SlunkCypt command-line program is invoked as follows:

slunkcrypt --encrypt [pass:<pass>|file:<file>] <input.txt> <output.enc>
slunkcrypt --decrypt [pass:<pass>|file:<file>] <input.enc> <output.txt>
slunkcrypt --make-pw [<length>]

Commands

One of the following commands must be chosen:

  • --encrypt (-e):
    Run application in encrypt mode. Reads the given plaintext and generates ciphertext.
  • --decrypt (-d):
    Run application in decrypt mode. Reads the given ciphertext and restores plaintext.
  • --make-pw (-p):
    Generate a "strong" random passphrase, suitable for use with SlunkCrypt.
  • --self-test (-t):
    Run the application in self-test mode. Program will exit after all test are completed.

Options

The following command-line options are available:

  • pass:<pass>:
    • Specifies the "secret" passphrase directly on the command-line. This is considered insecure.
  • file:<file>:
    • Specifies a file to read the passphrase from. Only the first line of the file will be read!
    • Note: It is also possible to specify - in order to read the passphrase from the stdin.
  • <input>:
    • In encrypt mode – specifies the plaintext file (unencrypted information) that is to be encrypted.
    • In decrypt mode – specifies the ciphertext file (result of encryption) that is to be decrypted.
  • <output>:
    • In encrypt mode – specifies the file where the ciphertext (result of encryption) will be stored.
    • In decrypt mode – specifies the file where the plaintext (unencrypted information) will be stored.
  • <length>:
    • Specifies the length of the passphrase to be generated. If not specified, defaults to 24.

Remarks

  • The same passphrase must be used for both, encrypt and decrypt mode. The decryption of the ciphertext will only be possible, if the "correct" passphrase is known. It is recommended to choose a "random" password that is at least 12 characters in length and consists of a mix of upper-case characters, lower-case characters, digits as well as special characters.

  • Passing the passphrase directly on the command-line is insecure, because the full command-line may be visible to other users!

Environment

The following environment variables may be used:

  • SLUNK_PASSPHRASE:
    Specifies the "secret" passphrase. This environment variables is only evaluated, if the passphrase was not specified on the command-line.
    Passing the passphrase via environment variable is considered more secure, because environment variables are not normally visible to other (unprivileged) users.

  • SLUNK_KEEP_INCOMPLETE:
    If set to a non-zero value, incomplete or corrupted output files will not be deleted automatically. By default, the files will be deleted.

  • SLUNK_THREADS:
    Specifies the number of worker threads to use. By default, SlunkCrypt detects the number of available processors and creates one thread for each processor.

Examples

Here are some examples on how to use the SlunkCrypt command-line application:

Example #1

  1. Let's generate a new random (secure) password first:

    slunkcrypt --make-pw

    Example output:

    cdG2=fh<C=3[SSCzf[)iDjIV

  2. Now, encrypt the plaintext message, using the generated password:

    slunkcrypt --encrypt pass:"cdG2=fh<C=3[SSCzf[)iDjIV" plaintext.txt ciphertext.enc

    Optionally, let's have a look at the ciphertext:

    hexdump -C ciphertext.enc

  3. Finally, decrypt the ciphertext, using the same password as before:

    slunkcrypt --decrypt pass:"cdG2=fh<C=3[SSCzf[)iDjIV" ciphertext.enc plaintext.out

    Optionally, verify that the decrypted file is identical to the original:

    sha256sum -b plaintext.txt plaintext.out

Example #2

  1. Generate a new password and store it to a text file:

    slunkcrypt --make-pw > passwd.txt

    Optionally, output the generated password to the terminal:

    cat passwd.txt

  2. Encrypt file by reading the password from the text file:

    slunkcrypt --encrypt file:passwd.txt plaintext.txt ciphertext.enc

Example #3

  1. Generate a new password directly to an environment variable:

    MY_PASSWD="$(slunkcrypt --make-pw)"

    Optionally, output the generated password to the terminal:

    echo "${MY_PASSWD}"

  2. Encrypt file by reading the password from the stdin:

    slunkcrypt --encrypt - plaintext.txt ciphertext.enc <<< "${MY_PASSWD}"

Encryption algorithm

The SlunkCrypt algorithm is based on core concepts of the well-known Enigma machine but with numerous improvements, largely inspired by R. Anderson's “A Modern Rotor Machine”:

  • The original Enigma machine had only three (or, in some models, four) rotors, plus a static "reflector" wheel. In SlunkCrypt, we uses 256 simulated rotors for an improved security. Furthermore, the original Enigma machine supported only 26 distinct symbols, i.e. the letters A to Z. In SlunkCrypt, we use 256 distinct symbols, i.e. the byte values 0x00 to 0xFF, which allows the encryption (and decryption) of arbitrary streams of bytes, rather than just plain text. Of course, SlunkCrypt can encrypt (and decrypt) text files as well.

  • In the original Enigma machine, the signal passes through the rotors twice, once in forward direction and then again in backwards direction – thus the "reflector" wheel. This way, the Enigma's encryption was made involutory, i.e. encryption and decryption were the same operation. While this was highly convenient, it also severely weakened the cryptographic strength of the Enigma machine, because the number of possible permutations was reduced drastically! This is one of the main reasons why the Enigma machine eventually was defeated. In SlunkCrypt, the signal passes through the simulated rotors just once, in order to maximize the number of possible permutations. This eliminates the most important known weakness of the Enigma machine. Obviously, in SlunkCrypt, separate "modes" for encryption and decryption need to be provided, since encryption and decryption no longer are the same operation.

  • In the original Enigma machine, the rightmost rotor was moved, by one step, after every symbol. Meanwhile, all other rotors were moved, by one step, only when their right-hand neighbor had completed a full turn – much like the odometer in a car. The fact that most of the rotors remained in the same "static" position most of the time was an important weakness of the Enigma machine. Also, the sequence of the Enigma's rotor positions started to repeat after only 16,900 characters. SlunkCrypt employs an improved stepping algorithm, based on a linear-feedback shift register (LSFR), ensuring that all rotors move frequently and in a "randomized" unpredictable pattern. The rotor positions of SlunkCrypt practically never repeat.

  • The internal wiring of each of the original Enigma machine's rotors was fixed. Each rotor "type" came with a different internal wiring (i.e. permutation). Some models had up to eight rotor "types" to choose from, but only three or four rotors were used at a time. Nonetheless, the internal wiring (i.e. permutation) of each of the supplied rotors was not modifiable. This severely restricted the key space of the Enigma machine, as far as the rotors are concerned, because only the order of the rotors and the initial position of each rotor could be varied. In SlunkCrypt, a fully randomized wiring (i.e. permutation) is generated from the password for each of the 256 simulated rotors. The initial rotor positions are randomized as well.

  • SlunkCrypt does not currently implement the plugboard (“Steckerbrett”) of the original Enigma machine. That is because, even though the plugboard has a large key space, it is just a fixed substitution cipher that does not contribute much to the cryptographic strength of the Enigma machine. In fact, the plugboard could be "erased" by Welchman's diagonal board.

Programming Interface (API)

This section describes the SlunkCypt library interface for software developers.

Getting started

In order to use the SlunkCypt library in your C++ code, include <slunkcrypt.hpp> header and instantiate the appropriate SlunkCypt classes:

Example #1

Here is a simple example on how to use the SlunkCrypt Encryptor class:

#include <slunkcrypt.hpp>
#include <fstream>
#include <iostream>

int main()
{
    /* Open input and output files here */
    uint8_t buffer[BUFF_SIZE];
    slunkcrypt::Encryptor slunk_encrypt(passphrase);
    while (input.good())
    {
        input.read(reinterpret_cast<char*>(buffer), BUFF_SIZE);
        if ((!input.bad()) && (input.gcount() > 0))
        {
            if (!slunk_encrypt.inplace(buffer, (size_t)input.gcount()))
            {
                /* Implement error handling here */
            }
            output.write(reinterpret_cast<char*>(buffer), count);
        }
    }
    std::cout << std::hex << slunk_encrypt.get_nonce() << std::endl;
}

Example #2

Here is a simple example on how to use the SlunkCrypt Decryptor class:

#include <slunkcrypt.hpp>
#include <fstream>
#include <iostream>

int main()
{
    /* Open input and output files here */
    uint8_t buffer[BUFF_SIZE];
    slunkcrypt::Decryptor slunk_decrypt(passphrase, nonce);
    while (input.good())
    {
        input.read(reinterpret_cast<char*>(buffer), BUFF_SIZE);
        if ((!input.bad()) && (input.gcount() > 0))
        {
            if (!slunk_decrypt.inplace(buffer, (size_t)input.gcount()))
            {
                /* Implement error handling here */
            }
            output.write(reinterpret_cast<char*>(buffer), count);
        }
    }
}

C++11 API

This section describes the "high-level" C++11 API of the SlunkCrypt library. All SlunkCrypt classes live in the slunkcrypt namespace.

Encryptor

Class for encrypting data using the SlunkCrypt library.

Constructor

Create and initialize a new Encryptor instance. Also generated a new, random nonce.

Encryptor::Encryptor(
  const std::string &passwd,
  const size_t thread_count = 0U
);

Parameters:

  • passwd
    The password to "protect" the message. The password is given as an std::string, e.g. UTF-8 encoded characters. The same password may be used to encrypt multiple messages. Also, the same password must be used for both, encryption and decryption; it will only be possible decrypt the ciphertext, if the "correct" password is known. The password must be kept confidential under all circumstances!

    Note: In order to thwart brute force attacks, it is recommended to choose a "random" password that is at least 12 characters in length and that consists of upper-case characters, lower-case characters, digits as well as other "special" characters.

  • thread_count
    Specifies the number of worker threads to use (optional). By default, SlunkCrypt detects the number of available processors and creates one thread for each processor.

Exceptions:

  • Throws std::runtime_error, if the nonce could not be generated, or if the SlunkCrypt context could not be allocated.

Encryptor::process() [1]

Encrypt the next message chunk, using separate input/output buffers.

bool process(
  const uint8_t *const input,
  uint8_t *const output,
  size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • input
    A pointer to the input buffer containing the next chunk of the plaintext to be encrypted. The plaintext is given as a byte array (uint8_t). This can be arbitrary binary data, e.g. UTF-8 encoded text. NULL bytes are not treated specially.

    The input buffer must contain at least length bytes of data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes will be processed and the remainder is ignored!

  • output
    A pointer to the output buffer where the ciphertext chunk that corresponds to the given plaintext chunk will be stored. The ciphertext is stored as a byte array (uint8_t); it has the same length as the plaintext data.

    The output buffer must provide sufficient space for storing at least length bytes of encrypted data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes of the buffer will be filled with encrypted data!

  • length
    The length of the plaintext chunk contained in the input buffer given by the input parameter, in bytes. At the same time, this determines the minimum required size of the output buffer given by the output parameters, in bytes.

    Note: It is recommended to process chunks of at least ∼64 KB each, in order to take full advantage of multi-threading.

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned.

Encryptor::process() [2]

Encrypt the next message chunk, using separate input/output containers (std::vector).

bool process(
  const std::vector<uint8_t> &input,
  std::vector<uint8_t> &output
);

Parameters:

  • input
    A reference to the std::vector<uint8_t> instance containing the next chunk of the plaintext to be encrypted. This can be arbitrary binary data, e.g. UTF-8 encoded text. NULL bytes are not treated specially.

  • output
    A reference to the std::vector<uint8_t> instance where the ciphertext that corresponds to the given plaintext will be stored.

    The output.size() must be greater than or equal to input.size(). If the output.size() is larger than the input.size(), then only the first input.size() elements of output will be filled with encrypted data!

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned. The function fails, if the output std::vector is too small.

Encryptor::inplace() [1]

Encrypt the next message chunk, using a single buffer.

bool inplace(
  uint8_t *const buffer,
  size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • buffer
    A pointer to the buffer initially containing the next chunk of the plaintext to be encrypted. The plaintext is given as a byte array (uint8_t). This can be arbitrary binary data, e.g. UTF-8 encoded text. NULL bytes are not treated specially. The ciphertext chunk that corresponds to the given plaintext chunk will be stored to the same buffer, thus replacing the plaintext data.

    The buffer must initially contain at least length bytes of input data; the first length bytes of the buffer will be overwritten with the encrypted data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes will be processed and overwritten.

  • length
    The length of the plaintext chunk initially contained in the input/output buffer given by the buffer parameter, in bytes. At the same time, this determines the portion of the input/output buffer that will be overwritten with encrypted data, in bytes.

    Note: It is recommended to process chunks of at least ∼64 KB each, in order to take full advantage of multi-threading.

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned.

Encryptor::inplace() [2]

Encrypt the next message chunk, using a single container (std::vector).

bool inplace(
  std::vector<uint8_t> &buffer
);

Parameters:

  • buffer
    A reference to the std::vector<uint8_t> initially containing the next chunk of the plaintext to be encrypted. This can be arbitrary binary data, e.g. UTF-8 encoded text. NULL bytes are not treated specially. The ciphertext chunk that corresponds to the given plaintext chunk will be stored to the same std::vector<uint8_t>, thus replacing all the plaintext data.

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned.

Encryptor::get_nonce()

Retrieve the random nonce that is used to encrypt the message.

uint64_t get_nonce();

Return value:

  • Returns the nonce that is used to encrypt the message. The purpose of the nonce is to ensure that each message will be encrypted differently, even when the same password is used to encrypt multiple (possibly identical) messages. Therefore, a new random nonce must be chosen for each message! It is not necessary to keep the nonce confidential, but the same nonce must be used for both, encryption and decryption. Typically, the nonce is stored/transmitted alongside the ciphertext.

    Note: The Encryptor class automatically generates a new, random nonce for each message to be encrypted. Use this function to retrieve that nonce, so that it can be passed to Decryptor for decryption later.

Decryptor

Class for decrypting data using the SlunkCrypt library.

Constructor

Create and initialize a new Decryptor instance.

Decryptor::Decryptor(
  const std::string &passwd,
  const uint64_t nonce,
  const size_t thread_count = 0U
);

Parameters:

  • passwd
    The password to "protect" the message. The password is given as an std::string, e.g. UTF-8 encoded characters. The same password may be used to encrypt multiple messages. Also, the same password must be used for both, encryption and decryption; it will only be possible decrypt the ciphertext, if the "correct" password is known. The password must be kept confidential under all circumstances!

    Note: In order to thwart brute force attacks, it is recommended to choose a "random" password that is at least 12 characters in length and that consists of upper-case characters, lower-case characters, digits as well as other "special" characters.

  • nonce
    The nonce (number used once) to be used for the decryption process. The purpose of the nonce is to ensure that each message will be encrypted differently, even when the same password is used to encrypt multiple (possibly identical) messages. Therefore, a new random nonce must be chosen for each message! It is not necessary to keep the nonce confidential, but the same nonce must be used for both, encryption and decryption. Typically, the nonce is stored/transmitted alongside the ciphertext.

    Note: The Encryptor class automatically generates a new, random nonce for each message to be encrypted. Use Encryptor::get_nonce() to retrieve that nonce, so that it can be passed to Decryptor for decryption later.

  • thread_count
    Specifies the number of worker threads to use (optional). By default, SlunkCrypt detects the number of available processors and creates one thread for each processor.

Exceptions:

  • Throws std::runtime_error, if the SlunkCrypt context could not be allocated.

Decryptor::process() [1]

Decrypt the next message chunk, using separate input/output buffers.

bool process(
  const uint8_t *const input,
  uint8_t *const output,
  size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • input
    A pointer to the input buffer containing the next chunk of the ciphertext to be decrypted. The ciphertext is given as a byte array (uint8_t).

    The input buffer must contain at least length bytes of data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes will be processed and the remainder is ignored!

  • output
    A pointer to the output buffer where the plaintext chunk that corresponds to the given ciphertext chunk will be stored. The plaintext is stored as a byte array (uint8_t); it has the same length as the ciphertext data.

    The output buffer must provide sufficient space for storing at least length bytes of decrypted data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes of the buffer will be filled with decrypted data!

  • length
    The length of the ciphertext chunk contained in the input buffer given by the input parameter, in bytes. At the same time, this determines the minimum required size of the output buffer given by the output parameters, in bytes.

    Note: It is recommended to process chunks of at least ∼64 KB each, in order to take full advantage of multi-threading.

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned.

Decryptor::process() [2]

Decrypt the next message chunk, using separate input/output containers (std::vector).

bool process(
  const std::vector<uint8_t> &input,
  std::vector<uint8_t> &output
);

Parameters:

  • input
    A reference to the std::vector<uint8_t> instance containing the next chunk of the ciphertext to be decrypted.

  • output
    A reference to the std::vector<uint8_t> instance where the plaintext that corresponds to the given ciphertext will be stored.

    The output.size() must be greater than or equal to input.size(). If the output.size() is greater than the input.size(), then only the first input.size() elements of output will be filled with decrypted data!

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned. The function fails, if the output std::vector is too small.

Decryptor::inplace() [1]

Decrypt the next message chunk, using a single buffer.

bool inplace(
  uint8_t *const buffer,
  size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • buffer
    A pointer to the buffer initially containing the next chunk of the ciphertext to be decrypted. The ciphertext is given as a byte array (uint8_t). The plaintext that corresponds to the given ciphertext will be stored to the same buffer, replacing the plaintext data.

    The buffer must initially contain at least length bytes of input data; the first length bytes of the buffer will be overwritten with the encrypted data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes will be processed and overwritten.

  • length
    The length of the ciphertext chunk initially contained in the input/output buffer given by the buffer parameter, in bytes. At the same time, this determines the portion of the input/output buffer that will be overwritten with decrypted data, in bytes.

    Note: It is recommended to process chunks of at least ∼64 KB each, in order to take full advantage of multi-threading.

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned.

Decryptor::inplace() [2]

Decrypt the next message chunk, using a single container (std::vector).

bool inplace(
  std::vector<uint8_t> &buffer
);

Parameters:

  • buffer
    A reference to the std::vector<uint8_t> initially containing the next chunk of the ciphertext to be decrypted. The plaintext that corresponds to the given ciphertext will be stored to the same std::vector<uint8_t>, replacing all the ciphertext data.

Return value:

  • If successful, true is returned; otherwise false is returned.

C99 API

This section describes the "low-level" C99 API of the SlunkCypt library.

Functions

The SlunkCypt library defines the following functions:

slunkcrypt_alloc()

Allocate and initialize a new SlunkCrypt encryption/decryption context.

slunkcrypt_t slunkcrypt_alloc(
    const uint64_t nonce,
    const uint8_t *const passwd,
    const size_t passwd_len,
    const int mode
);

Parameters:

  • nonce
    The nonce (number used once) to be used for the encryption/decryption process. The purpose of the nonce is to ensure that each message will be encrypted differently, even when the same password is used to encrypt multiple (possibly identical) messages. Therefore, a new random nonce must be chosen for each message to be encrypted! It is not necessary to keep the nonce confidential, but the same nonce must be used for both, encryption and decryption. Typically, the nonce is stored/transmitted alongside the ciphertext.

    Note: It is recommended to generate a random nonce via the slunkcrypt_generate_nonce() function for each message!

  • passwd
    The password to "protect" the message. The password is given as a byte array (uint8_t), e.g. UTF-8 encoded characters; a terminating NULL character is not required, as the length of the password is specified explicitly. The same password may be used to encrypt multiple messages. Also, the same password must be used for both, encryption and decryption; it will only be possible decrypt the ciphertext, if the "correct" password is known. The password must be kept confidential under all circumstances!

    Note: In order to thwart brute force attacks, it is recommended to choose a "random" password that is at least 12 characters in length and that consists of upper-case characters, lower-case characters, digits as well as other "special" characters.

  • passwd_len
    The length of password given by the passwd parameter, in bytes, not counting a terminating NULL character. The minimum/maximum length of the password are given by the SLUNKCRYPT_PWDLEN_MIN and SLUNKCRYPT_PWDLEN_MAX constants, respectively.

  • mode
    The mode of operation. Use SLUNKCRYPT_ENCRYPT in order to set up this context for encryption, or use SLUNKCRYPT_DECRYPT in order to set up this context for decryption.

Return value:

  • If successful, a handle to the new SlunkCrypt context is return; otherwise SLUNKCRYPT_NULL is returned.

    Note: Applications should treat slunkcrypt_t as an opaque handle type. Also, as soon as the SlunkCrypt context is not needed anymore, the application shall call slunkcrypt_free() in order to "erase" and de-allocate that context. If a SlunkCrypt context is not de-allocated properly, it will result in a memory leak!

slunkcrypt_alloc_ext()

Allocate and initialize a new SlunkCrypt encryption/decryption context with additional parameters.

slunkcrypt_t slunkcrypt_alloc_ext(
    const uint64_t nonce,
    const uint8_t *const passwd,
    const size_t passwd_len,
    const int mode,
    const slunkparam_t *const param
);

Parameters:

  • nonce
    The nonce (number used once) to be used for the encryption/decryption process. The purpose of the nonce is to ensure that each message will be encrypted differently, even when the same password is used to encrypt multiple (possibly identical) messages. Therefore, a new random nonce must be chosen for each message to be encrypted! It is not necessary to keep the nonce confidential, but the same nonce must be used for both, encryption and decryption. Typically, the nonce is stored/transmitted alongside the ciphertext.

    Note: It is recommended to generate a random nonce via the slunkcrypt_generate_nonce() function for each message!

  • passwd
    The password to "protect" the message. The password is given as a byte array (uint8_t), e.g. UTF-8 encoded characters; a terminating NULL character is not required, as the length of the password is specified explicitly. The same password may be used to encrypt multiple messages. Also, the same password must be used for both, encryption and decryption; it will only be possible decrypt the ciphertext, if the "correct" password is known. The password must be kept confidential under all circumstances!

    Note: In order to thwart brute force attacks, it is recommended to choose a "random" password that is at least 12 characters in length and that consists of upper-case characters, lower-case characters, digits as well as other "special" characters.

  • passwd_len
    The length of password given by the passwd parameter, in bytes, not counting a terminating NULL character. The minimum/maximum length of the password are given by the SLUNKCRYPT_PWDLEN_MIN and SLUNKCRYPT_PWDLEN_MAX constants, respectively.

  • mode
    The mode of operation. Use SLUNKCRYPT_ENCRYPT in order to set up this context for encryption, or use SLUNKCRYPT_DECRYPT in order to set up this context for decryption.

  • param
    Additional parameters used to initialize the SlunkCrypt context, given as a pointer to a slunkparam_t struct. The memory for the struct must be allocated by the caller and SlunkCrypt does not take owner ship of this memory; it will copy the relevant fields. The caller is responsible to free the struct; it can be allocated with automatic storage duration.

Return value:

  • If successful, a handle to the new SlunkCrypt context is return; otherwise SLUNKCRYPT_NULL is returned.

    Note: Applications should treat slunkcrypt_t as an opaque handle type. Also, as soon as the SlunkCrypt context is not needed anymore, the application shall call slunkcrypt_free() in order to "erase" and de-allocate that context. If a SlunkCrypt context is not de-allocated properly, it will result in a memory leak!

slunkcrypt_reset()

Re-initialize an existing SlunkCrypt encryption/decryption context.

int slunkcrypt_reset(
    const slunkcrypt_t context,
    const uint64_t nonce,
    const uint8_t *const passwd,
    const size_t passwd_len,
    const int mode
);

Parameters:

  • context
    The existing SlunkCrypt context to be re-initialized. This must be a valid handle that was returned by a previous invocation of the slunkcrypt_alloc() function.

  • other parameters:
    Please refer to the slunkcrypt_alloc() function for details!

Return value:

  • If successful, SLUNKCRYPT_SUCCESS is returned; otherwise SLUNKCRYPT_FAILURE or SLUNKCRYPT_ABORTED is returned.

slunkcrypt_free()

De-allocate an existing SlunkCrypt encryption/decryption context. This will "clear" and release any memory occupied by the context.

void slunkcrypt_free(
    const slunkcrypt_t context
);

Parameters:

  • context
    The existing SlunkCrypt context to be de-allocated. This must be a valid handle that was returned by a previous invocation of the slunkcrypt_alloc() function.

    Note: Once a handle has been passed to this function, that handle is invalidated and must not be used again!

slunkcrypt_generate_nonce()

Generate a new random nonce (number used once), using the system's "cryptographically secure" entropy source.

int slunkcrypt_generate_nonce(
  int64_t *const nonce
);

Parameters:

  • nonce
    A pointer to a variable of type int64_t that receives the new random nonce.

Return value:

  • If successful, SLUNKCRYPT_SUCCESS is returned; otherwise SLUNKCRYPT_FAILURE or SLUNKCRYPT_ABORTED is returned.

slunkcrypt_process()

Encrypt or decrypt the next message chunk, using separate input/output buffers.

int slunkcrypt_process(
    const slunkcrypt_t context,
    const uint8_t *const input,
    uint8_t *const output,
    size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • context
    The existing SlunkCrypt context to be used for processing the message chunk. This context will be updated.

    Note: This function operates either in "encryption" mode or in "decryption" mode, depending on how the given SlunkCrypt context has been initialized or re-initialized.

  • input
    A pointer to the input buffer containing the next chunk of the plaintext to be encrypted (encryption mode), or the next chunk of the ciphertext to be decrypted (decryption mode). The input data is given as a byte array (uint8_t). This can be arbitrary binary data, e.g. UTF-8 encoded text. NULL bytes are not treated specially by this function.

    The input buffer must contain at least length bytes of data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes will be processed; the remainder is ignored!

  • output
    A pointer to the output buffer where the ciphertext that corresponds to the given plaintext chunk (encryption mode), or the plaintext that corresponds to the given ciphertext chunk (decryption mode) will be stored. The output data is stored as a byte array (uint8_t) and it always has the same length as the input data.

    The output buffer must provide sufficient space for storing at least length bytes. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes will be filled!

  • length
    The length of the given plaintext chunk (encryption mode), or the length of the given ciphertext chunk (decryption mode) in the input buffer, in bytes. At the same time, this parameter determines the minimum required size of the output buffer, in bytes. If this parameter is set to zero, the function does nothing; this is not considered an error.

    Note: It is recommended to process chunks of at least ∼64 KB each, in order to take full advantage of multi-threading.

Return value:

  • If successful, SLUNKCRYPT_SUCCESS is returned; otherwise SLUNKCRYPT_FAILURE or SLUNKCRYPT_ABORTED is returned.

slunkcrypt_inplace()

Encrypt or decrypt the next message chunk, using a single input/output buffer.

int slunkcrypt_inplace(
    const slunkcrypt_t context,
    uint8_t *const buffer,
    size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • context
    The existing SlunkCrypt context to be used for processing the message chunk. This context will be updated.

    Note: This function operates either in "encryption" mode or in "decryption" mode, depending on how the given SlunkCrypt context has been initialized or re-initialized.

  • buffer
    A pointer to the buffer containing the next chunk of the plaintext to be encrypted (encryption mode), or the next chunk of the ciphertext to be decrypted (decryption mode). The input data is given as a byte array (uint8_t). This can be arbitrary binary data, e.g. UTF-8 encoded text. NULL bytes are not treated specially by this function. The ciphertext that corresponds to the given plaintext chunk (encryption mode), or the plaintext that corresponds to the given ciphertext chunk (decryption mode) will be stored to the same buffer.

    The given buffer must initially contain at least length bytes of input data. The first length bytes in the buffer will be processed and will be overwritten with the corresponding output data. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes in the buffer will be processed; the remainder is ignored!

  • length
    The length of the plaintext chunk (encryption mode), or the length of the ciphertext chunk (decryption mode) initially contained in the input/output buffer, in bytes.

    Note: It is recommended to process chunks of at least ∼64 KB each, in order to take full advantage of multi-threading.

Return value:

  • If successful, SLUNKCRYPT_SUCCESS is returned; otherwise SLUNKCRYPT_FAILURE or SLUNKCRYPT_ABORTED is returned.

slunkcrypt_random_bytes()

Generate a sequence of random bytes, using the system's "cryptographically secure" entropy source.

size_t slunkcrypt_random_bytes(
  uint8_t *const buffer,
  const size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • buffer
    A pointer to the output buffer where the random bytes will be stored.

    The output buffer must provide sufficient space for storing at least length bytes of random data. At most the first length bytes of the buffer will be filled with random data!

  • length
    The number of random bytes to be generated. At the same time, this parameter determines the minimum required size of the output buffer, in bytes.

Return value:

  • The number of random bytes that have been generated and that have been stored to the output buffer buffer is returned.

    The number of generated random bytes can be at most length. Less than length random bytes will be generated, if and only if the the system's "cryptographically secure" entropy source could not provide the requested number of bytes at this time – in that case, you can try again later. The number of generated bytes can be as low as 0.

slunkcrypt_bzero()

Erase the contents of a byte array, by overwriting it with zero bytes. Compiler optimizations will not remove the erase operation.

void slunkcrypt_bzero(
  void *const buffer,
  const size_t length
);

Parameters:

  • buffer
    A pointer to the buffer whose content is to be erased.

    The buffer must be at least length bytes in size. If the buffer is longer than length bytes, then only the first length bytes of the buffer will be erased!

  • length
    The size of the buffer to be erased, in bytes.

Types

SlunkCrypt parameters

The slunkparam_t struct is used to pass additional parameters that will be used for initializing the SlunkCrypt context. It contains the following fields:

  • version – The version of the parameter struct; must be set to SLUNKCRYPT_PARAM_VERSION.
  • thread_count – The number of worker threads to use. If this parameter is set to 0, which is the default value, then SlunkCrypt automatically detects the number of available (logical) processors and creates one thread for each processor. Also, the number of threads is capped to a maximum of MAX_THREADS (currently defined as 16).

Global variables

The SlunkCypt library defines the following global variables:

Version information

These variables can be used to determine the version of the SlunkCrypt library at runtime, using the semantic versioning scheme:

  • const uint16_t SLUNKCRYPT_VERSION_MAJOR – The current major version.
  • const uint16_t SLUNKCRYPT_VERSION_MINOR – The current minor version.
  • const uint16_t SLUNKCRYPT_VERSION_PATCH – The current patch version.
  • const char *SLUNKCRYPT_BUILD – The build date and time, as a C string, in the "mmm dd yyyy, hh:mm:ss" format.

Abort request

If this flag is set to a non-zero value by the application, any ongoing SlunkCypt library invocation will be aborted as quickly as possible:

  • volatile int g_slunkcrypt_abort_flag – The global abort flag.

    Note: Applications may set this flag in their signal handler, e.g. when a SIGINT is received, in order to "gracefully" shut down the SlunkCypt library. All long-running library functions will return SLUNKCRYPT_ABORTED, if the invocation was interrupted. The application still is responsible for free'ing any SlunkCypt contexts that it allocated successfully!

Constants

The SlunkCypt library defines the following constants:

Mode of operation

The SlunkCypt library supports the following modes of operation:

  • SLUNKCRYPT_ENCRYPT – Run library in encryption mode, i.e. consume plaintext and produce ciphertext.
  • SLUNKCRYPT_DECRYPT – Run library in decryption mode, i.e. consume ciphertext and produce plaintext.

Limits

The following limits are defined for the SlunkCypt library:

  • SLUNKCRYPT_PWDLEN_MIN – The minimum required length of a password, currently 8 bytes.
  • SLUNKCRYPT_PWDLEN_MAX – The maximum allowed length of a password, currently 256 bytes.

Error codes

SlunkCypt library functions that return an error code may return one of the following constants:

  • SLUNKCRYPT_SUCCESS – The operation completed successfully.
  • SLUNKCRYPT_FAILURE – The operation has failed.
  • SLUNKCRYPT_ABORTED – The operation was aborted before completion, as requested by the application.

Thread safety

The following functions are fully "thread-safe" and thus may safely be called by any thread at any time without the need for synchronization:

  • slunkcrypt_alloc()
  • slunkcrypt_generate_nonce()
  • slunkcrypt_random_bytes()
  • slunkcrypt_bzero()
  • Encryptor::Encryptor()
  • Decryptor::Decryptor()

The following functions are "reentrant" and thus may safely be called by any thread at any time without the need for synchronization – provided that each instance of slunkcrypt_t, Encryptor or Decryptor is "owned" by a single thread and that each instance will exclusively be access by its respective "owner" thread:

  • slunkcrypt_reset()
  • slunkcrypt_free()
  • slunkcrypt_process()
  • slunkcrypt_inplace()
  • Encryptor::process()
  • Encryptor::inplace()
  • Encryptor::get_nonce()
  • Decryptor::process()
  • Decryptor::inplace()

Note: If the same slunkcrypt_t, Encryptor or Decryptor instance needs to be shared across multiple threads (i.e. the same instance is accessed by concurrent threads), then the application must serialize any invocation of the above functions on that shared instance, by using a suitable synchronization mechanism! This can be achieved by using a mutex.

Source Code

The latest SlunkCrypt source code is available from the official Git mirrors at:

Build Instructions

SlunkCrypt can be built from the sources on Microsoft Windows or any POSIX-compatible platform, using a C-compiler that supports the C99 standard.

  • Microsoft Windows:
    Project/solution files for Visual Studio are provided. These should work “out of the box” with Visual Studio 2017 or any later version.
    Just open the solution, select the “Release” configuration, choose the “x86” or “x64” platform, and finally press F5.
    Visual Studio also is the only way to build the SlunkCrypt GUI, which is based on Microsoft.NET and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).

    Alternatively, SlunkCrypt can built using Mingw-w64 (available via MSYS2) or even Cygwin – see Linux instructions for details!

  • Linux:
    Please make sure that the C compiler (GCC or Clang) as well as Make are installed. Then simply run make -B from the project's base directory!

    If not already installed, the required build tools can usually be installed via your distribution's package manager.
    For example, on Debian-based distributions, the command sudo apt install build-essential installs all the required build tools at once.

    In order to create a fully-static binary of SlunkCrypt that runs on any Linux distribution from the last decade, you can use musl libc:
    make -B CC=musl-gcc STATIC=1

  • BSD and Solaris:
    SlunkCrypt can be built on various BSD flavors and Solaris, but the command gmake -B needs to be used here, since the native make doesn't work!
    GNU Make can be installed from the package manager. For example, use pkg install gmake on FreeBSD or pkg_add gmake on OpenBSD.

  • Mac OS X:
    Once you have managed to find a terminal (or even better, connect via SSH), Mac OS X almost works like a proper operating system.
    The Xcode command-line tools can be installed with the command xcode-select --install, if not present yet. Then just type make -B to build!

    Hint: If you want to build with GCC, which produces faster code than Apple's Xcode compiler, you may install it on Mac OS X via Homebrew.

License

This work has been released under the CC0 1.0 Universal license.

For details, please refer to:
https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode

Acknowledgement

SlunkCrypt incorporates code from the following third-party software projects:

  • The "checksum" algorithm used by the SlunkCrypt command-line application was adapted from the BLAKE2 reference C implementation.

    BLAKE2 reference source code package - reference C implementations
    Copyright 2012, Samuel Neves <sneves@dei.uc.pt>.  You may use this under the
    terms of the CC0, the OpenSSL Licence, or the Apache Public License 2.0, at
    your option.  The terms of these licenses can be found at:
    - CC0 1.0 Universal : http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0
    - OpenSSL license   : https://www.openssl.org/source/license.html
    - Apache 2.0        : http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
    
    More information about the BLAKE2 hash function can be found at
    https://blake2.net.
    
  • Windows only: Builds of SlunkCypt that have multi-threading enabled use the POSIX Threads for Windows (pthreads4w) library.

    Pthreads4w - POSIX Threads for Windows
    Copyright 1998 John E. Bossom
    Copyright 1999-2018, Pthreads4w contributors
    
    Homepage: https://sourceforge.net/projects/pthreads4w/
    
    Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
    you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
    You may obtain a copy of the License at
    
      http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
    
    Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
    distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
    WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
    See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
    limitations under the License.
    

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