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How to get the plaintext of a Secret Key Entry in Mozilla NSSDB PKCS11?

  • 2 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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I have a mozilla NSSDB PKCS11, it includes one of three things. Certificates, keys, and SecretKeyEntry. I would like to know the content of a SecretKeyEntry with the alias "StoreXKey". Firstly, is extracting the plaintext of a SecretKeyEntry possible? I seem to think so because of links: and

First link gives a way to do it ( which doesn't work for me ) the second link gives us a few methods, namely .getEncoded() which can supposedly be called on a SecretKeyEntry to get the byte array information.

Here is my code thus far, all results hit a null pointer exception when using the getEncoded message. I am sure the SecretKeyEntry exists in the NSSDB.

String configFile = "config.cfg"; Provider provider = Security.getProvider("SunPKCS11"); // I am confused on how to incorporate the config file as well. /* provider = provider.configure(configFile); // Does not work */ Security.addProvider(provider);

String defaultPIN = "--.--.--.--.----.-...-.--"; try{

  KeyStore ks = KeyStore.getInstance("PKCS11");
  ks.load(null, defaultPIN.toCharArray());
  KeyStore.SecretKeyEntry skEntry = (KeyStore.SecretKeyEntry) ks.getEntry("StoreXKey",null); // Do I need a password protector here?
  System.out.println(new String(skEntry.getSecretKey().getEncoded())); <-- Error is thrown here. 

}catch (Exception e){


} Any help / advice or links are appreciated.

All Replies (2)

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Please let me know if this is in the wrong section, I will change it! I just couldn't find the NSS section of this website!


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This forum deals with the Mozilla products that contain NSS but not the nitty gritty of that component.

Maybe there is a technical mailing list/Google Group for NSS? This one popped up in a search, but I don't know whether this kind of question would be welcome:


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