This add-on is operated by Will
Automatic and Graceful Secure Key Rotation
Last updated 13 April 2020
Table of Contents
Adding automatic key rotation to an application ensures your app always has fresh, unguessable secrets. They can be used anywhere in your application where some sort of entropy is needed. Secure Key promotes best practices by keeping these secrets in your environment (rather than checked into source control) and by rotating them periodically.
This is especially perfect for cookie signing. In this case, you will want to sign all new cookies with the new key, but accept cookies signed with both the new and the old key. This ensures that there is not a discontinuity upon key rotation that causes all users to be logged out.
Secure Key is accessible directly via your applications environment.
Provisioning the add-on
Secure Key can be attached to a Heroku application via the CLI:
$ heroku addons:create securekey --app sushi Creating securekey-clear-6489... done, (free) Adding securekey-clear-6489 to sushi... done Setting SECURE_KEY and restarting sushi... done, v3 Use `heroku addons:docs securekey` to view documentation.
Once Secure Key has been added,
SECURE_KEY will be available in the app configuration and will contain the current securely generated keys. This can be confirmed using the
heroku config command.
$ heroku config | grep SECUREKEY SECUREKEY_CHARCOAL_KEY: 2fi9ugflsiscwcdv3g2aq2v2c2nwam2elripnkjbn1s6n5m6c4,6c7r6pz375bhltbvt57slj5waqj3fw1t7hc0u8bqwda0sqdth5
The keys are formatted like
<CURRENT_KEY>,<OLD_KEY>. After the appropriate amount of time,
CURRENT_KEY will move after the comma becoming the old key, and a fresh key will be put before the comma.
$ heroku config | grep SECUREKEY SECUREKEY_CHARCOAL_KEY: 3bxllgq4u28ogxr6yug8hhiuqse3lgzg1zixu7cxrs0prdpw5d,2fi9ugflsiscwcdv3g2aq2v2c2nwam2elripnkjbn1s6n5m6c4
Attaching to other apps
You can attach the same key to several apps. In this situation, when the key is rotated, every app will get the new credentials.
Before attaching, we need to know the add-on name. In the above example the add-on name is
securekey-clear-6489, given at provisioning time. It can also be found later by using
~ ➤ h addons -a sushi === Resources for sushi Plan Name Price --------------------- -------------------- ----- securekey:fortnightly securekey-clear-6489 free === Attachments for sushi Name Add-on Billing App ------ -------------------- ----------- SECURE securekey-clear-6489 sushi
This add-on can be shared to and attached on other apps with
~ ➤ h addons:attach securekey-clear-6489 -a sushi2 Attaching securekey-clear-6489 to sushi2... done Setting SECURE vars and restarting sushi2... done, v3
After provisioning the add-on it’s necessary to locally replicate the config vars so your development environment can operate against the service.
Though less portable it’s also possible to set local environment variables using
Use the Heroku Local command-line tool to configure, run and manage process types specified in your app’s Procfile. Heroku Local reads configuration variables from a
.env file. To view all of your app’s config vars, type
heroku config. Use the following command to add the ADDON_CONFIG_NAME values retrieved from heroku config to your
$ heroku config -s | grep SECURE_KEY >> .env $ more .env
Credentials and other sensitive configuration values should not be committed to source-control. In Git exclude the .env file with:
echo .env >> .gitignore.
For more information, see the Heroku Local article.
Removing the add-on
Secure Key can be removed via the CLI.
This will destroy all associated data and cannot be undone!
$ heroku addons:destroy SECUREKEY_CHARCOAL -----> Removing securekey from sushi... done, v20 (free)
All Secure Key support and runtime issues should be logged with Heroku Support at https://support.heroku.com. Secure Key is an open source add-on. Any non-support related issues or product feedback is welcome at https://github.com/will/securekey.
Additional resources are available at: