genRSAKeyPair - AWS CloudHSM


The genRSAKeyPair command in the key_mgmt_util tool generates an RSA asymmetric key pair. You specify the key type, modulus length, and a public exponent. The command generates a modulus of the specified length and creates the key pair. You can assign an ID, share the key with other HSM users, create nonextractable keys and keys that expire when the session ends. When the command succeeds, it returns a key handle that the HSM assigns to the key. You can use the key handle to identify the key to other commands.

Before you run any key_mgmt_util command, you must start key_mgmt_util and log in to the HSM as a crypto user (CU).


To find the attributes of a key that you have created, such as the type, length, label, and ID, use getAttribute. To find the keys for a particular user, use getKeyInfo. To find keys based on their attribute values, use findKey.


genRSAKeyPair -h genRSAKeyPair -m <modulus length> -e <public exponent> -l <label> [-id <key ID>] [-min_srv <minimum number of servers>] [-m_value <0..8>] [-nex] [-sess] [-timeout <number of seconds> ] [-u <user-ids>] [-attest]


These examples show how to use genRSAKeyPair to create asymmetric key pairs in your HSMs.

Example : Create and Examine an RSA Key Pair

This command creates an RSA key pair with a 2048-bit modulus and an exponent of 65541. The output shows that the public key handle is 262159 and the private key handle is 262160.

Command: genRSAKeyPair -m 2048 -e 65541 -l rsa_test Cfm3GenerateKeyPair returned: 0x00 : HSM Return: SUCCESS Cfm3GenerateKeyPair: public key handle: 262159 private key handle: 262160 Cluster Error Status Node id 1 and err state 0x00000000 : HSM Return: SUCCESS Node id 0 and err state 0x00000000 : HSM Return: SUCCESS

The next command uses getAttribute to get the attributes of the public key that we just created. It writes the output to the attr_262159 file. It is followed by a cat command that gets the content of the attribute file. For help interpreting the key attributes, see the Key Attribute Reference.

The resulting hexadecimal values confirm that it is a public key (OBJ_ATTR_CLASS 0x02) with a type of RSA (OBJ_ATTR_KEY_TYPE 0x00). You can use this public key to encrypt (OBJ_ATTR_ENCRYPT 0x01), but not to decrypt (OBJ_ATTR_DECRYPT 0x00) or wrap (OBJ_ATTR_WRAP 0x00). The results also include the key length (512, 0x200), the modulus, the modulus length (2048, 0x800), and the public exponent (65541, 0x10005).

Command: getAttribute -o 262159 -a 512 -out attr_262159 got all attributes of size 731 attr cnt 20 Attributes dumped into attr_262159 file Cfm3GetAttribute returned: 0x00 : HSM Return: SUCCESS $ cat attr_262159 OBJ_ATTR_CLASS 0x02 OBJ_ATTR_KEY_TYPE 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_TOKEN 0x01 OBJ_ATTR_PRIVATE 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_ENCRYPT 0x01 OBJ_ATTR_DECRYPT 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_WRAP 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_UNWRAP 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_SIGN 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_VERIFY 0x01 OBJ_ATTR_LOCAL 0x01 OBJ_ATTR_SENSITIVE 0x00 OBJ_ATTR_EXTRACTABLE 0x01 OBJ_ATTR_LABEL rsa_test OBJ_ATTR_ID OBJ_ATTR_VALUE_LEN 0x00000200 OBJ_ATTR_KCV 0x0a4364 OBJ_ATTR_MODULUS 9162b8d5d01d7b5b1179686d15e74d1dd38eaa5b6e64673195aaf951df8828deeca002c215d4209a c0bf90a9587ddca7f6351d5d4df0f6201b65daccd9955e4f49a819c0d39cb6717623bfa33436facc 835c15961a58a63ca25bf0d2d4888d77418c571c190f8cc5a82483050658c00df4658dff248202bc 95e886b1b5c7a981f09b0eb4f606641efe09bf3881f63c90d4a4415219ba796df449862b9d9c2a78 d1c24fff56cf9b25f2b7dee44e200dd9550bd097a7044b22ca004033236bc708a0bad4a111533ed4 6d049e5ec0b449b4a3877e566b0ce9d0a60fd1c15352b131ccc234f1719bed3918df579a66e7fff2 9dc80dc5dbbf6e3d7d092d67c6abca7d OBJ_ATTR_MODULUS_BITS 0x00000800 OBJ_ATTR_PUBLIC_EXPONENT 0x010005

Example : Generate a Shared RSA Key Pair

This command generates an RSA key pair and shares the private key with user 4, another CU on the HSM. The command uses the m_value parameter to require at least two approvals before the private key in the pair can be used in a cryptographic operation. When you use the m_value parameter, you must also use -u in the command and the m_value cannot exceed the total number of users (number of values in -u + owner).

Command: genRSAKeyPair -m 2048 -e 195193 -l rsa_mofn -id rsa_mv2 -u 4 -m_value 2 Cfm3GenerateKeyPair returned: 0x00 : HSM Return: SUCCESS Cfm3GenerateKeyPair: public key handle: 27 private key handle: 28 Cluster Error Status Node id 0 and err state 0x00000000 : HSM Return: SUCCESS Node id 1 and err state 0x00000000 : HSM Return: SUCCESS



Displays help for the command.

Required: Yes


Specifies the length of the modulus in bits. The minimum value is 2048.

Required: Yes


Specifies the public exponent. The value must be an odd number greater than or equal to 65537.

Required: Yes


Specifies a user-defined label for the key pair. Type a string. The same label applies to both keys in the pair

You can use any phrase that helps you to identify the key. Because the label does not have to be unique, you can use it to group and categorize keys.

Required: Yes


Specifies a user-defined identifier for the key pair. Type a string that is unique in the cluster. The default is an empty string. The ID that you specify applies to both keys in the pair.

Default: No ID value.

Required: No


Specifies the minimum number of HSMs on which the key is synchronized before the value of the -timeout parameter expires. If the key is not synchronized to the specified number of servers in the time allotted, it is not created.

AWS CloudHSM automatically synchronizes every key to every HSM in the cluster. To speed up your process, set the value of min_srv to less than the number of HSMs in the cluster and set a low timeout value. Note, however, that some requests might not generate a key.

Default: 1

Required: No


Specifies the number of users who must approve any cryptographic operation that uses the private key in the pair. Type a value from 0 to 8.

This parameter establishes a quorum authentication requirement for the private key. The default value, 0, disables the quorum authentication feature for the key. When quorum authentication is enabled, the specified number of users must sign a token to approve cryptographic operations that use the private key, and operations that share or unshare the private key.

To find the m_value of a key, use getKeyInfo.

This parameter is valid only when the -u parameter in the command shares the key pair with enough users to satisfy the m_value requirement.

Default: 0

Required: No


Makes the private key nonextractable. The private key that is generated cannot be exported from the HSM. Public keys are always extractable.

Default: Both the public and private keys in the key pair are extractable.

Required: No


Creates a key that exists only in the current session. The key cannot be recovered after the session ends.

Use this parameter when you need a key only briefly, such as a wrapping key that encrypts, and then quickly decrypts, another key. Do not use a session key to encrypt data that you might need to decrypt after the session ends.

To change a session key to a persistent (token) key, use setAttribute.

Default: The key is persistent.

Required: No


Specifies how long (in seconds) the command waits for a key to be synchronized to the number of HSMs specified by the min_srv parameter.

This parameter is valid only when the min_srv parameter is also used in the command.

Default: No timeout. The command waits indefinitely and returns only when the key is synchronized to the minimum number of servers.

Required: No


Shares the private key in the pair with the specified users. This parameter gives other HSM crypto users (CUs) permission to use the private key in cryptographic operations. Public keys can be used by any user without sharing.

Type a comma-separated list of HSM user IDs, such as -u 5,6. Do not include the HSM user ID of the current user. To find HSM user IDs of CUs on the HSM, use listUsers. To share and unshare existing keys, use shareKey in the cloudhsm_mgmt_util.

Default: Only the current user can use the private key.

Required: No


Runs an integrity check that verifies that the firmware on which the cluster runs has not been tampered with.

Default: No attestation check.

Required: No

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