Loading and setting a master key
After you load a function control vector, load and set the master key. The master key is used to encrypt other keys. It is a special key-encrypting key stored within the Coprocessor secure module on systems running the IBM i operating system.
After you load a function control vector, you can load and set a master key. The Coprocessor uses the master key to encrypt all operational keys. The master key is a special key-encrypting key stored in the clear (not encrypted) within the Coprocessor secure module. Your Coprocessor uses the master key to encrypt other keys so that you can store those keys outside of your Coprocessor. The master key is a 168-bit key formed from at least two 168-bit parts exclusive ORed together.
Loading a master key
There are three registers for your master keys: New, Current, and Old. The new master key register is used to hold a pending master key while it is being built. It is not used to encrypt any keys. The Current master key register holds the master key that is currently being used to encrypt newly generated/imported/re-enciphered keys. The old master key register holds the previous master key. It is used to recover keys after a master key change has occurred. When you load a master key, the Coprocessor places it into the New master key register. It remains there until you set the master key.
- Load the first key parts and the subsequent key parts separately to maintain split knowledge of the key as a whole. This is the least secure method, but you can increase security by giving each key part to a separate individual.
- Use random key generation, which will remove any human knowledge of the key. This is the most secure method for loading a master key, but you will need to clone this randomly generated master key into a second Cryptographic Coprocessor in order to have a copy of it.
- Use a pre-existing master key by cloning it from another Coprocessor.
Setting a master key
Setting the master key causes the key in the Current master key register to move to the Old master key register. Then, the master key in the New master key register moves to the Current master key register.
The easiest and fastest way to load and set master keys is to use the Cryptographic Coprocessor configuration web-based utility found by clicking on the IBM i Tasks page link on the IBM Navigator for i welcome page at http://server-name:2001. The utility includes the Basic configuration wizard that is used when the Coprocessor is in an un-initialized state. If the Cryptographic Coprocessor already has been initialized, then click on Manage configuration and then click on Master keys to load and set master keys.
If you would prefer to write your own application to load and set master keys, you can do so by using the Master_Key_Process (CSNBMKP) API verb.
When you set a master key, you should re-encrypt all keys that were encrypted under the former master key to avoid losing access to them. You must do this before you change and set the master key.
You can re-encrypt keys in keystore by using the Cryptographic Coprocessor configuration web-based utility found by clicking on the IBM i Tasks page link on the IBM Navigator for i welcome page at http://server-name:2001. The Cryptographic Coprocessor must have already been initialized. Click on "Manage configuration" and then click on either "DES keys" to re-encrypt DES keys, or "PKA keys" to re-encrypt PKA keys.
If you have keys that are not in keystore or if you would prefer to write your own application to re-encrypt keys, you can do so by using the Key_Token_Change (CSNBKTC) or PKA_Key_Token_Change (CSNDKTC) API verbs.
An example program is provided for your consideration.