Nikos Maravitsas

About Nikos Maravitsas

Nikos has graduated from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Currently, his main interests are system’s security, parallel systems, artificial intelligence, operating systems, system programming, telecommunications, web applications, human – machine interaction and mobile development.

Validate Password with Java Regular Expression example

In the previous tutorial on username validation we explained why input validation is important for your application’s security and data consistency.

For our passwords we are going to implement a strict policy about their format. We want our passwords to :

  • Be between 8 and 40 characters long
  • Contain at least one digit.
  • Contain at least one lower case character.
  • Contain at least one upper case character.
  • Contain at least on special character from [ @ # $ % ! . ].

So this is the regular expression we are going to use for password validation:

((?=.*[a-z])(?=.*\\d)(?=.*[A-Z])(?=.*[@#$%!]).{8,40})

You can take a look at the Pattern class documentation to learn how to construct your own regular expressions according to your policy.

1. Validator class

This is the class that we are going to use for password validation.

PasswordValidator.java:

package com.javacodegeeks.java.core;

import java.util.regex.Matcher;
import java.util.regex.Pattern;

public class PasswordValidator {

	private Pattern pattern;
	private Matcher matcher;

	private static final String PASSWORD_PATTERN = "((?=.*[a-z])(?=.*\\d)(?=.*[A-Z])(?=.*[@#$%!]).{8,40})";

	public PasswordValidator() {
		pattern = Pattern.compile(PASSWORD_PATTERN);
	}

	public boolean validate(final String password) {

		matcher = pattern.matcher(password);
		return matcher.matches();

	}
}

2. Unit Testing our PasswordValidator class

For unit testing we are going to use JUnit. Unit testing is very important in these situations because they provide good feedback about the correctness of our regular expressions. You can test your program and reassure that your regular expression meets the rules on your policy about the form of the usernames or passwords. For example, you might have a black list of usernames or passwords that you don’t want to have to your system, You cant test your validator against these values to see how it responds.

This is a basic test class:

PasswordValidatorTest.java:

package com.javacodegeeks.java.core;

import static org.junit.Assert.*;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collection;

import org.junit.BeforeClass;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized.Parameters;

@RunWith(Parameterized.class)
public class PasswordValidatorTest {

	private String arg;
	private static PasswordValidator passwordValidator;
	private Boolean expectedValidation;

	public PasswordValidatorTest(String str, Boolean expectedValidation) {
		this.arg = str;
		this.expectedValidation = expectedValidation;
	}

	@BeforeClass
	public static void initialize() {
		passwordValidator = new PasswordValidator();
	}

	@Parameters
	public static Collection<Object[]> data() {
		Object[][] data = new Object[][] {
				{"n!k@s",false },                         // it's less that 8 characters long 
				{ "gregorymarjames-law", false },         // it doesn't contain an digits or upper case characters
				{ " abcdFg45*", false },                  // characters ~ in not allowed     
				{ "n!koabcD#AX", false },                 // there should be a digit  
				{ "ABCASWF2!", false   },                 // there should be a lower case character

				// valid passwords

				{"n!k@sn1Kos",true },                         
				{ "J@vaC0deG##ks", true },         
				{ "n!k1abcD#!", true } };

		return Arrays.asList(data);
	}

	@Test
	public void test() {
		Boolean res = passwordValidator.validate(this.arg);
		String validv = (res) ? "valid" : "invalid";
		System.out.println("Password "+arg+ " is " + validv);
		assertEquals("Result", this.expectedValidation, res);

	}

}

Output:

Password n!k@s is invalid
Password gregorymarjames-law is invalid
Password  abcdFg45* is invalid
Password n!koabcD#AX is invalid
Password ABCASWF2! is invalid
Password n!k@sn1Kos is valid
Password J@vaC0deG##ks is valid
Password n!k1abcD#! is valid

 
This was an example on how to validate password with Java Regular Expression.

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