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From "ASF GitHub Bot (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LANG-1400) StringUtils: Add method for masking strings
Date Sun, 01 Jul 2018 21:10:00 GMT


ASF GitHub Bot commented on LANG-1400:

Github user greenman18523 commented on the issue:
    > Just to clarify: maskedStart from this PR corresponds to minMasked from #332 but
the discussion is about adding a maxUnmasked, right?
    I don't see a ``maskedStart`` parameters, these are the parameters I see in this PR: ``final
String str, int unmaskedStart, int unmaskedEnd, final char mask``
    If you are referring to ``unmaskedStart``, then this is a parameter with a dual, non-obvious
role, which is not good. There should be different parameters for different roles. If I a
missing something from this PR, please elaborate.
    > > some messages are short and contain one time passwords
    > it doesn't need for a masking at all. Short term generated values, OTPs and tokens
like OAuth access_token (but not refresh_token) are safe to write to logs. If hacker stole
logs we will have nothing to do with the data.
    No, you must not write any sensitive data, even if they are valid for half a nanosecond.
Every tiny info a 3rd party gains gives them more leverage on how to further proceed. Hackers
don't always steal old logs, they can live monitor your logs also! For OTPs, there should
be different endpoints where logging of messages is disabled. But, just in case something
like that goes through the main channels. 30 is a best-effort estimation, based on the currently
seen patterns for OTPs.
    >  a new parameter maxUnmasked may be not so useful in real life but confusing.
    I am referring to a ``minMasked`` parameter, which by it's name states it's purpose. Which
is the absolute minimum number of characters that must be masked.

> StringUtils: Add method for masking strings
> -------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LANG-1400
>                 URL:
>             Project: Commons Lang
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: lang.*
>            Reporter: Sergey Ponomarev
>            Priority: Minor
> It would be great to have a function which allows to mask the original str by replacing
> characters with the specified character-mask. For eaxmple to mask credit card:
> {code}
> mask("3566002020360505", 4, 4, '*') = "3566********0505"
> {code}
> Thus the number was hidden by asterisks while first and last four digits are unmasked
and seen.
> Common use case is to hide sensitive information from logs, by using it in toString()
of classes or in inputs to log calls.
> I think this is "must have" functionality for Commons Lang library because from my experience
in almost all bit projects what I saw was their home grown masking function.
> I think this is very important also because this is required for masking credit card
numbers by PCI compliance. Also new GDPR rules requires to hide personal info as much as possible
so masking of First and Last names now is required by laws.
> To make the world safer place the utility for masking should be already existing in platform
to avoid situations when developer think  "this is better to mask but I don't have enough
time now so let's do this latter" until leak happens.
> IMHO this should be implemented even in `String` class itself.
> From my experience what I saw was usually few masking usages and styles:
> 1. masking of passwords and names: only first and last symbols are shown, mask char is
> 2. masking of credit cards: only first and last 4 or 6 symbols are shown, mask char is
> 3. credit card number shortest masking of last symbols i.e. `mask("4242424242424242")
== " *4242"` but it's not so often used, I just wanted to mention.
> 4. not masking but showing a length just so see that value was passed. This can be easily
achieved by usual `String.legth()` method.
> There is already some pull request []
but I decided to create the ticket because we also need to support masking for ToStringBuilder
and I would like to propose [PR with my own implementation of mask() function|].
> If you accept my PR then I'll send another one with a new annotation @ToStringMasked
in accordance to [@ToStringExclude|]
which will mark that fields should be masked. Possible usage I see like:
> {code}
> @ToStringMasked(unmaskedStart = 4, unmaskedEnd = 4) 
> String creditCardNumber;
> @ToStringMasked(unmaskedStart = 1, unmaskedEnd = 1) 
> String password;
> {code}

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