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From "Sergey Ponomarev (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Created] (LANG-1400) StringUtils: Add method for masking strings
Date Sat, 23 Jun 2018 22:46:00 GMT
Sergey Ponomarev created LANG-1400:

             Summary: StringUtils: Add method for masking strings
                 Key: LANG-1400
             Project: Commons Lang
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: lang.*
            Reporter: Sergey Ponomarev

It would be great to have a function which allows to mask the original str by replacing it's
characters with the specified character-mask. For eaxmple to mask credit card:
mask("3566002020360505", 4, 4, '*') = "3566********0505"
Thus the number was hidden by asterisks while first and last four digits are unmasked and

Common use case is to hide sensitive information from logs, by using it in toString() of classes
or in inputs to log calls.

I think this is "must have" functionality for Commons Lang library because from my experience
in almost all bit projects what I saw was their home grown masking function.
I think this is very important also because this is required for masking credit card numbers
by PCI compliance. Also new GDPR rules requires to hide personal info as much as possible
so masking of First and Last names now is required by laws.
To make the world safer place the utility for masking should be already existing in platform
to avoid situations when developer think  "this is better to mask but I don't have enough
time now so let's do this latter" until leak happens.
IMHO this should be implemented even in `String` class itself.

>From my experience what I saw was usually few masking usages and styles:
1. masking of passwords and names: only first and last symbols are shown, mask char is `*`
2. masking of credit cards: only first and last 4 or 6 symbols are shown, mask char is `*`.
3. credit card number shortest masking of last symbols i.e. `mask("4242424242424242") == "
*4242"` but it's not so often used, I just wanted to mention.
4. not masking but showing a length just so see that value was passed. This can be easily
achieved by usual `String.legth()` method.

There is already some pull request [] but I
decided to create the ticket because we also need to support masking for @ToString annotation
and I would like to propose my own implementation of mask() function.


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