AES 256 Encryption and Decryption in Python

The following python program demonstrates how to perform AES 256 encryption and decryption using the pycrypto library. Please note that this example is written in Python 3.

First ensure that pycrypto library is installed on your system by running the following command,

pip3 install pycrypto

In the following python 3 program, we use pycrypto classes for AES 256 encryption and decryption. The program asks the user for a password (passphrase) for encrypting the data. This passphrase is converted to a hash value before using it as the key for encryption. The following program encrypts a sample text and then prints both the encrypted message and decrypted message on the console.

# AES 256 encryption/decryption using pycrypto library

import base64
import hashlib
from Crypto.Cipher import AES
from Crypto import Random

BLOCK_SIZE = 16
pad = lambda s: s + (BLOCK_SIZE - len(s) % BLOCK_SIZE) * chr(BLOCK_SIZE - len(s) % BLOCK_SIZE)
unpad = lambda s: s[:-ord(s[len(s) - 1:])]

password = input("Enter encryption password: ")


def encrypt(raw, password):
    private_key = hashlib.sha256(password.encode("utf-8")).digest()
    raw = pad(raw)
    iv = Random.new().read(AES.block_size)
    cipher = AES.new(private_key, AES.MODE_CBC, iv)
    return base64.b64encode(iv + cipher.encrypt(raw))


def decrypt(enc, password):
    private_key = hashlib.sha256(password.encode("utf-8")).digest()
    enc = base64.b64decode(enc)
    iv = enc[:16]
    cipher = AES.new(private_key, AES.MODE_CBC, iv)
    return unpad(cipher.decrypt(enc[16:]))


# First let us encrypt secret message
encrypted = encrypt("This is a secret message", password)
print(encrypted)

# Let us decrypt using our original password
decrypted = decrypt(encrypted, password)
print(bytes.decode(decrypted))

Here is the above program in action,

python3 aes_encryption.py
Enter encryption password: my password
b’sYjpPpTpPFSvdsvhTRQrNnyD669siUFtpziX8JrdFDF1zM9PF8kWbjDUnC9uS7lp’
This is a secret message

Note that the above program uses SHA256 algorithm to generate the key from the passphrase. If you want high level of security, this should be replaced with password based key derivation function PBKDF2. The following example uses the PBKDF2 to generate the key,

# AES 256 encryption/decryption using pycrypto library

import base64
from Crypto.Cipher import AES
from Crypto import Random
from Crypto.Protocol.KDF import PBKDF2

BLOCK_SIZE = 16
pad = lambda s: s + (BLOCK_SIZE - len(s) % BLOCK_SIZE) * chr(BLOCK_SIZE - len(s) % BLOCK_SIZE)
unpad = lambda s: s[:-ord(s[len(s) - 1:])]

password = input("Enter encryption password: ")


def get_private_key(password):
    salt = b"this is a salt"
    kdf = PBKDF2(password, salt, 64, 1000)
    key = kdf[:32]
    return key


def encrypt(raw, password):
    private_key = get_private_key(password)
    raw = pad(raw)
    iv = Random.new().read(AES.block_size)
    cipher = AES.new(private_key, AES.MODE_CBC, iv)
    return base64.b64encode(iv + cipher.encrypt(raw))


def decrypt(enc, password):
    private_key = get_private_key(password)
    enc = base64.b64decode(enc)
    iv = enc[:16]
    cipher = AES.new(private_key, AES.MODE_CBC, iv)
    return unpad(cipher.decrypt(enc[16:]))


# First let us encrypt secret message
encrypted = encrypt("This is a secret message", password)
print(encrypted)

# Let us decrypt using our original password
decrypted = decrypt(encrypted, password)
print(bytes.decode(decrypted))

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