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Security Guide

Session security

A Ninja session is a hash of key/values, signed but not encrypted by default (see next section to enable encryption). That means that as long as your secret is safe, it is not possible for a third-party to forge sessions.

The secret is stored as key application.secret at conf/application.conf.

That way - several servers sharing the same secret can handle any request coming from your users. That’s the reason why scaling is simple.

It is very very important to keep the application.secret private.

Do not commit it in a public repository, and when you install an application written by someone else change the secret key to your own.

When deploying it is also really useful to use an external configuration containing production settings - and a special application.secret that is not used in regular development. You can point to an alternate configuration by using a system variable:

… -Dninja.external.configuration=/mydir/deployment.conf".

Encrypting sessions

Setting up Ninja to encrypt sessions is very easy: You have to enable encryption in the configuration file, (application.conf), by setting application.cookie.encryption=true.

Ninja is using at least AES/128 which should be fine for even the most demanding scenarios. You can increase the strength of AES by installing the Java Cryptography Extensions into your JDK.

Generating a new session secret

You can generate a random new secret in development mode by simply deleting application.secret from your conf/application.conf file. When you restart your server Ninja will generate a new secret and add it to conf/application.conf.