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Configure a FIPS 140-2 Compliant Java Provider on RedHat/CentOS/Fedora

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If you're using any form of cryptography in Java, you might be aware of NIST FIPS 140-2, which lays out what you can and cannot use on federal information processing systems.

Oracle documentation, true to form, only gets you 80% of the way there.  Here's their technical notes on FIPS 140 compliance.

So here are the step-by-step instructions for configuring java with a FIPS-compliant Provider (SunPKCS11-NSS).

First, you need to install the libraries if you haven't already.  These are written by Mozilla, and have gone through NIST's Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP).  Luckily, they're available for RedHat/CentOS/Fedora, and can be installed through yum.

sudo yum install nss-pkcs11-devel  Next, you need to configure your JRE to add the provider.  You do this by editing ${jre.home}/lib/security/java.security and adding a reference to the SunPKCS11 provider.

On my Fedora 19 box, I have both the OpenJDK and SunJDK installed.  Here are the locations of their J…