DES Encryption and Decryption in Java

In this article you will learn to use DES Encryption and Decryption in Java by using javax.crypto framework.

  • DES is a Symmetric encryption algorithm widely used for securing sensitive data.
  • Developed in the 1970s by IBM and later standardized by NIST.
  • Designed to provide confidentiality and privacy for digital communications and data storage.
  • DES operates on a 64-bit block size and uses a 56-bit key for encryption and decryption.
  • DES use a Feistel network structure, with multiple rounds of substitution, permutation, and key mixing operations to ensure robust encryption.

Advantages of DES Encryption:

  1. Widely Adopted: DES is a well-established encryption standard, supported by various platforms and libraries.
  2. Efficient Performance: DES encryption and decryption operations are relatively fast and suitable for real-time applications.
  3. Ease of Implementation: Implementing DES in Java and other programming languages is straightforward, thanks to available libraries and APIs.

Disadvantages of DES Encryption:

  1. Short Key Length: The 56-bit key size of DES is considered too short by modern security standards, making it vulnerable to brute-force attacks.
  2. Security Concerns: DES has known vulnerabilities, including the ability to decrypt data using exhaustive key search methods.
  3. Lack of Key Management: DES lacks robust key management features, leading to potential security risks if keys are compromised.
import javax.crypto.Cipher;

import javax.crypto.KeyGenerator;

import javax.crypto.SecretKey;

import java.util.Base64;

public class DESEncryptionExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

        // Generate a secret key for DES encryption

        KeyGenerator keyGenerator = KeyGenerator.getInstance("DES");

        SecretKey secretKey = keyGenerator.generateKey();

        // Create a DES cipher instance

        Cipher cipher = Cipher.getInstance("DES");

        // Initialize the cipher for encryption using the secret key

        cipher.init(Cipher.ENCRYPT_MODE, secretKey);

        // Plaintext to be encrypted

        String plaintext = "Hello, DES Encryption!";

        // Encrypt the plaintext

        byte[] encryptedBytes = cipher.doFinal(plaintext.getBytes());

        // Encode the encrypted bytes to Base64 for readability

        String encryptedText = Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString(encryptedBytes);

        System.out.println("Encrypted Text (DES): " + encryptedText);

        // Initialize the cipher for decryption using the same secret key

        cipher.init(Cipher.DECRYPT_MODE, secretKey);

        // Decrypt the encrypted bytes

        byte[] decryptedBytes = cipher.doFinal(Base64.getDecoder().decode(encryptedText));

        // Convert the decrypted bytes back to plaintext

        String decryptedText = new String(decryptedBytes);

        System.out.println("Decrypted Text (DES): " + decryptedText);



In this example:

  • We generate a secret key for DES encryption using KeyGenerator.
  • Create a DES cipher instance and initialize it for encryption using the secret key.
  • Encrypt the plaintext “Hello, DES Encryption!” using cipher.doFinal().
  • Encode the encrypted bytes to Base64 for better display.
  • Initialize the cipher for decryption using the same secret key and decrypt the encrypted text back to plaintext.

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