In short, here's what this module does:

For site owners:
This module can provide you with readable passwords. Some users will be able to see other users passwords in plain text if they have a role with the permission to do so.

For developers:
This module can provide you with a very simple and easy to use encryption API. Just check out the aes_encrypt and aes_decrypt functions. It really can't get any simpler.

In a nutshell:

$encrypted_data = aes_encrypt("mydata");
$decrypted_to_plain_text = aes_decrypt($encrypted_data);

Note: This module requires an AES implementation, which can be either the PHP Mcrypt extension or the PHP Secure Communications Library.

The Mcrypt extension needs to be installed on the web server, so if you're on a shared host you probably can't use this if it's not already installed (you'll find out if you have it or not when installing this module).

If you don't have Mcrypt, then grab a copy of PHP Secure Communications Library (phpseclib) from here: http://phpseclib.sourceforge.net/

Just extract that zip into a directory called "phpseclib" inside the aes module directory and you should be good to go.

The two implementations are pretty much equivalent, although Mcrypt is faster and offers the option of defining the encryption cipher, so you probably want to use that if you have it.

This module and it's main functions (aes_encrypt, aes_decrypt) are designed to behave in a consistent way no matter which implemenation you are using. There are a few small exceptions though. Check out API.txt if you would like to know what they are.

This module also allows you to switch between implementations (or change any of the other encryption options) without losing your already encrypted user passwords. However, take care not to switch implementations or change the cipher or key while you have another module installed which has this module as a dependency, since this module isn't aware of what data (if any) that other modules has encrypted, and therefore it can't update it with the new settings.

Similar Modules

See a comparison of encryption modules.

Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 versions

For both 6 and 7 version of Drupal core the AES module is quite stable and is maintained mostly only for fixes.

Drupal 8 version

Currently work is in progress to port the module to Drupal 8. Expected changes:
- due to new configuration system there will be unified way to store key - as *.yaml file in configuration folder only.
- password viewing feature will be removed from main module.
Generally all upcoming changes are under meta-issue
#2228373: [meta] Port the module to Drupal 8.

Please note - current dev version for Drupal 8 is not functional, release made just for technical purposes.

Drupal 8 version is based on 7.x-1.8, however since it provides a bit different set of features, as well as encryption/decryption calling convention, version renamed to 8.x-2.x.

Maintainer News
This module was originally developed for 6.x by easyfit, and was maintained briefly by EvanDonovan, primarily for 7.x, since it was a requirement for the Salesforce Suite prior to the new 7.x-3.x branch.

Since January 2014 module is maintained by dpovshed.

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