Quick and Dirty String Encryption

by Rob McBroom

At work, I wanted a way to encrypt some strings fairly easily and without any special tools. OpenSSL is everywhere, so I used that.

To encrypt a string using OpenSSL:

% echo 'foo' | openssl aes-256-cbc -a -salt
enter aes-256-cbc encryption password: [passphrase hidden]
Verifying - enter aes-256-cbc encryption password: [passphrase hidden]
U2FsdGVkX1/QGdl4syQE8bLFSr2HzoAlcG299U/T/Xk=

To decrypt the result:

% echo 'U2FsdGVkX1/QGdl4syQE8bLFSr2HzoAlcG299U/T/Xk=' | openssl aes-256-cbc -a -d -salt
enter aes-256-cbc decryption password: [passphrase hidden]
foo

Of course, you don't have to use aes-256-cbc. Run openssl list-cipher-commands to see all of the available options.

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