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rimsoft February 2016

Decrypting an OpenSSL PEM Encoded RSA private key with Java?

I have an encrypted private key and I know the password.

I need to decrypt it using a Java library.

I'd prefer not to use BouncyCastle though, unless there is no other option. Based on previous experience, there is too much change and not enough documentation.

The private key is in this form:

Proc-Type: 4,ENCRYPTED


I believe the key data is Base64 encoded since I see \r\n after 64 characters.

I tried the following to decrypt the key:

import java.security.Key;
import java.security.KeyFactory;
import java.security.PrivateKey;
import java.security.spec.PKCS8EncodedKeySpec;
import javax.crypto.EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo;
import javax.crypto.SecretKeyFactory;
import javax.crypto.spec.PBEKeySpec;

public String decrypt(String keyDataStr, String passwordStr){
  // This key data start from "X5... to ==" 
  char [] password=passwordStr.toCharArray();
  byte [] keyDataBytes=com.sun.jersey.core.util.Base64.decode(keyDataStr);

  PBEKeySpec pbeSpec = new PBEKeySpec(password);
  EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo pkinfo = new EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo(keyDataBytes);
  SecretKeyFactory skf = SecretKeyFactory.getInstance(pkinfo.getAlgName());
  Key secret = skf.generateSecret(pbeSpec);
  PKCS8EncodedKeySpec keySpec = pkinfo.getKeySpec(secret);
  KeyFactory kf = KeyFactory.getInstance("RSA");
  PrivateKey pk=kf.generatePrivate(keySpec);
  return pk.toString();

I get this Exception

java.io.IOException: DerInputStream.getLength(): lengthTag=50, too big.
    at sun.security.util.DerInputStream.getLength(DerInputStream.java:561)
    at sun.security.util.DerValue.init(DerValue.java:365)
    at sun.security.util.DerValue.<init>(DerValue.java:294)
    at javax.crypto.EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo.<ini        


erickson February 2016

You need to use a non-standard, OpenSSL method for deriving the decryption key. Then use that to decrypt the PKCS-#1–encoded key—what you are working with is not a PKCS #8 envelope. You'll also need the IV from the header as input to these processes.

It looks something like this:

  static RSAPrivateKey decrypt(String keyDataStr, String ivHex, String password)
    throws GeneralSecurityException
    byte[] pw = password.getBytes(StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
    byte[] iv = h2b(ivHex);
    SecretKey secret = opensslKDF(pw, iv);
    Cipher cipher = Cipher.getInstance("DESede/CBC/PKCS5Padding");
    cipher.init(Cipher.DECRYPT_MODE, secret, new IvParameterSpec(iv));
    byte[] pkcs1 = cipher.doFinal(Base64.getMimeDecoder().decode(keyDataStr));
    /* See note for definition of "decodeRSAPrivatePKCS1" */
    RSAPrivateCrtKeySpec spec = decodeRSAPrivatePKCS1(pkcs1);
    KeyFactory rsa = KeyFactory.getInstance("RSA");
    return (RSAPrivateKey) rsa.generatePrivate(spec);

  private static SecretKey opensslKDF(byte[] pw, byte[] iv)
    throws NoSuchAlgorithmException
    MessageDigest md5 = MessageDigest.getInstance("MD5");
    byte[] d0 = md5.digest();
    byte[] d1 = md5.digest();
    byte[] key = new byte[24];
    System.arraycopy(d0, 0, key, 0, 16);
    System.arraycopy(d1, 0, key, 16, 8);
    return new SecretKeySpec(key, "DESede");

  private static byte[] h2b(CharSequence s)
    int len = s.length();
    byte[] b = new byte[len / 2];
    for (int src = 0, dst = 0; src < len; ++dst) {
      int hi = Character.digit(s.charAt(src++), 16);
      int lo = Character.digit(s.charAt(src++), 16);
      b[dst] = (byte) (hi << 4 | lo);
    return b;

This is already a lot of code, so I will link to another answer for the definition of

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Asked in February 2016
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