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A password hashing framework with bcrypt and pbkdf2.

Project description


Hash responsibly:

from cryptacular.bcrypt import BCRYPTPasswordManager
manager = BCRYPTPasswordManager()
hashed = manager.encode('password')
if manager.check(hashed, 'password'):
    pass # let them in

cryptacular is a collection of strong password hashing functions that share a common interface, and a nice way to use bcrypt as a password hash. It’s designed to make it easy for you to migrate away from your half-assed custom password scheme. Compared with popular choices like plain text or single rounds of md5 or sha, strong password hashes greatly increase the computational cost of obtaining users’ passwords from a leaked password database.

cryptacular’s interface was inspired by zope.password but cryptacular does not depend on zope and implements much stronger algorithms. cryptacular also provides a convenient way to recognize and upgrade obsolete password hashes on the fly when users log in with their correct password.

z3c.bcrypt integrates cryptacular into zope.password. explains why bcrypt is a good idea. Computers are fast now. To protect our users against a leaked password database, we should use password hashes that take a little longer to check than sha1(salt + hash). bcrypt and pbkdf2 have this property. They also have parametric complexity so they can be made stronger as computers continue to get faster.

cryptacular ships with 100% test coverage.


cryptacular.core defines the DelegatingPasswordManager and the interfaces (abstract base classes) PasswordChecker and PasswordManager.

DelegatingPasswordManager is the recommended way to use cryptacular. DelegatingPasswordManager holds a preferred cryptacular.core.PasswordManager instance that can encode and check password hashes and a list of fallback cryptacular.core.PasswordChecker instances that are only required to be able to check password hashes (no need to implement InsecurePasswordHash.encode()). When asked to check a password hash against a plaintext password, DelegatingPasswordManager finds the first item in its list that understands the given hash format and uses it to check the password. If the password was correct but not in the preferred hash format, DelegatingPasswordManager will re-hash the given password using its preferred PasswordManager.

>>> import cryptacular.core
>>> import cryptacular.bcrypt
>>> import cryptacular.pbkdf2
>>> bcrypt = cryptacular.bcrypt.BCRYPTPasswordManager()
>>> pbkdf2 = cryptacular.pbkdf2.PBKDF2PasswordManager()
>>> delegator = cryptacular.core.DelegatingPasswordManager(preferred=bcrypt, fallbacks=(pbkdf2,))
>>> users = {'one':{'password':'xyzzy'}, 'two':{'password':u'hashy the \N{SNOWMAN}'}}
>>> for key in users: users[key]['hash'] = pbkdf2.encode(users[key]['password'])
>>> bcrypt.match(users['one']['password'])
>>> def set_hash(hash): users['one']['hash'] = hash
>>> delegator.check(users['one']['hash'], users['one']['password'], setter=set_hash)
>>> bcrypt.match(users['one']['hash'])
>>> def set_hash(hash): raise Exception("Should not re-set a preferred hash")
>>> delegator.check(users['one']['hash'], users['one']['password'], setter=set_hash)
>>> bcrypt.match(users['two']['hash'])
>>> pbkdf2.match(users['two']['hash'])
>>> delegator.check(users['two']['hash'], users['two']['password'])
>>> bcrypt.match(users['two']['hash'])
>>> pbkdf2.match(users['two']['hash'])


cryptacular.bcrypt uses a C extension module to call the public-domain crypt_blowfish ( which is bundled with cryptacular. You should use this if you can.


cryptacular.pbkdf2 applies the pbkdf2 key derivation algorithm described in RFC 2898 as a password hash. It uses M2Crypto.EVP.pbkdf2 with a Python fallback when M2Crypto is not available. You can use this even if you cannot run C extension modules in your Python.


cryptacular.crypt uses Python’s builtin crypt module, available on Unix, to hash passwords. It takes a string such as ‘$1$’ as an argument to determine which kind of hash the underlying crypt() function will produce (see man crypt for details). crypt() can even provide bcrypt hashes if you are lucky; the SHA hashes invented for RedHat are also good.

On my Ubuntu system:

from cryptacular.crypt import CRYPTPasswordManager, SHA256CRYPT
manager = CRYPTPasswordManager(SHA256CRYPT)
>>> '$5$Ka9M/5GqJWMCnLI7$ZR0k9g2NlnXvgjjDYmobVUuLzfn/Tmo.vnW4WvW5Tx/'
>>> '$5$o4RUq2zuVWYWZpuq$35VyAVxfeL4sQ9//ODNw8jIDW7khJ5s0lUlXCHJ6WZ2'


  • Constant-time comparison of hashes



  • Add rounds option to the encode methods of the bcrypt and pbkdf2 password managers which can be used to specify the number of rounds (or the work factor in the case of bcrypt).


  • Change version to 1.0


  • Add cryptacular.crypt.CRYPTPasswordManager(prefix) based on Python’s builtin crypt(). Why didn’t I think of this before?!


  • Verified to compile under Windows.


  • use normal Python extension module instead of ctypes for bcrypt


  • don’t import ez_setup

  • includes self

  • use regular import to declare the namespace package


  • fix i386 build


  • cryptacular is now a namespace package. Compatible password hashing implementations can go under cryptacular.``name``


  • Initial release

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