Last Update: 2021-04-01 07:38:02 -0700

New Features

  • A column_encryption plugin has been added to support encrypting the content of individual columns in a table.

    Column values are encrypted with AES-256-GCM using a per-value cipher key derived from a key provided in the configuration using HMAC-SHA256.

    If you would like to support encryption of columns in more than one model, you should probably load the plugin into the parent class of your models and specify the keys:

    Sequel::Model.plugin :column_encryption do |enc|

    This specifies a single master encryption key. Unless you are actively rotating keys, it is best to use a single master key.

    In the above call, 0 is the id of the key, and ENV is the content of the key, which must be a string with exactly 32 bytes. As indicated, this key should not be hardcoded or otherwise committed to the source control repository.

    For models that need encrypted columns, you load the plugin again, but specify the columns to encrypt:

    ConfidentialModel.plugin :column_encryption do |enc|
      enc.column :encrypted_column_name
      enc.column :searchable_column_name, searchable: true
      enc.column :ci_searchable_column_name, searchable: :case_insensitive

    With this, all three specified columns (encrypted_column_name, searchable_column_name, and ci_searchable_column_name) will be marked as encrypted columns. When you run the following code:

      encrypted_column_name: 'These',
      searchable_column_name: 'will be',
      ci_searchable_column_name: 'Encrypted'

    It will save encrypted versions to the database. encrypted_column_name will not be searchable, searchable_column_name will be searchable with an exact match, and ci_searchable_column_name will be searchable with a case insensitive match.

    To search searchable encrypted columns, use with_encrypted_value. This example code will return the model instance created in the code example in the previous section:

      with_encrypted_value(:searchable_column_name, "will be")
      with_encrypted_value(:ci_searchable_column_name, "encrypted").

    To rotate encryption keys, add a new key above the existing key, with a new key ID:

    Sequel::Model.plugin :column_encryption do |enc|

    Newly encrypted data will then use the new key. Records encrypted with the older key will still be decrypted correctly.

    To force reencryption for existing records that are using the older key, you can use the needing_reencryption dataset method and the reencrypt instance method. For a small number of records, you can probably do:


    With more than a small number of records, you'll want to do this in batches. It's possible you could use an approach such as:

    ds = ConfidentialModel.needing_reencryption.limit(100)
    true until ds.all(&:reencrypt).empty?

    After all values have been reencrypted for all models, and no models use the older encryption key, you can remove it from the configuration:

    Sequel::Model.plugin :column_encryption do |enc|

    The column_encryption plugin supports encrypting serialized data, as well as enforcing uniquenss of searchable encrypted columns (in the absence of key rotation). By design, it does not support compression, mixing encrypted and unencrypted data in the same column, or support arbitrary encryption ciphers. See the plugin documentation for more details.