Create Triple DES SecretKey in Java

For a project at work, I needed to integrate our website with another web application. The web application in question also had their own built in user management system. For seamless integration we wanted our users to only have to log in once.

As the web application was quite a large application, they already had a REST api that allowed you to supply them with a encrypted token in the url that authenticated you on their systems. You simply had to encrypt the user id (on their system) and the current time stamp.

As I had never done anything to do with encryption before in Java. I had to learn from scratch.

The token had to be encrypted with Triple DES CBC scheme. They supply you with an access key. Here is where the problem lay. I could find quite a few examples that allowed you to use the inbuilt key generator in Java, but what about if you have your own key (our access key). This was a bit more difficult to find, so I thought I would blog a code snipit here. In the end it turned out to simple (it always is 🙂

The key needed to be Triple DES (DESede)

String keyString ="4d89g13j4j91j27c582ji69373y788r6"; // I made this key up by the way!

byte[] keyB = new byte[24]; // a Triple DES key is a byte[24] array

for (int i = 0; i < keyString.length() && i < keyB.length; i++) {
keyB[i] = (byte) keyString.charAt(i);

// Make the Key
SecretKey key = new SecretKeySpec(keyB, "DESede");

A good resource that I found was here :



17 comments so far

  1. John Doe from Portugal on

    Two years have gone by and this is still very useful, thanks a lot!

  2. My name is... on

    Looks like Portugal is looking here! Another help to me! Tks!

  3. Dirtbox on

    Thanks for this snippet Hamza, exactly what I was looking for.

  4. Nilesh on

    Your made up key is 32 chars. Didn’t need to be, did it? you could have made it 24 chars and avoided the extra condition in your for loop.

  5. marko on

    Besides that you can shorten the string to 24 chars: There is a getBytes() method on string. So instead of the loop simply code

    byte[] keyB = keyString.getBytes();

  6. Nikunj Jhala on


    Thanks for posting this solution. I am struggling to implement this. I was thinking about serialization. write key object in File to store the state of the object. But simple solution that you have given is a straight forward way.

    Thanks ….
    Nikunj Jhala

  7. Wynand on

    Fantastic! Thanks for posting! Exactly what I was looking for.

  8. Shreeharsha on

    Hi Hamza,

    thanks a lot man…. this is great… my problem solved

  9. Nusry on

    Thanks lot your code it is very help

  10. Suresh on


    can you help out in understanding how Triple DES will work in encrypting a string.

    Providing an example for Triple DES will be more helpful for me

    Many Thanks

  11. Samuel on

    This post is very very well… I went search from a site web to anothers but not find nothing . Here yes, thank for all man!

  12. Madhu on

    Hi I am new to Cryptography, I have question in triple des(3des): encryption is done in Oracle function DBMS_OBFUSCATION_TOOLKIT.DES3Encrypt , is that possible I can decrypt same in using java API.
    I have only key and encrypted password to decrypt. I have tried couple of examples, when I decrypt in java , Ii am getting different value.
    Is that possible if something is encrypted in oracle and can be decrypt in java

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