Programming language: Swift
License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: Security    
Latest version: v1.2.1

Virgil SWIFT PFS SDK alternatives and similar libraries

Based on the "Security" category.
Alternatively, view Virgil SWIFT PFS SDK alternatives based on common mentions on social networks and blogs.

Do you think we are missing an alternative of Virgil SWIFT PFS SDK or a related project?

Add another 'Security' Library



Build Status CocoaPods Compatible Carthage compatible GitHub license

Introduction | SDK Features | Installation | Initialization | Chat Example | Register Users | Docs | Support


Virgil Security provides a set of APIs for adding security to any application.

The Virgil PFS SDK allows developers to get up and running with the Virgil PFS Service and add the Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) technologies to their digital solutions to protect previously intercepted traffic from being decrypted even if the main Private Key is compromised.

Virgil SWIFT PFS SDK contains dependent Virgil SWIFT SDK package.

SDK Features


The Virgil PFS is provided as a package VirgilSDKPFS.


CocoaPods is a dependency manager for Cocoa projects. You can install it with the following command:

$ gem install cocoapods

To integrate VirgilSDK PFSinto your Xcode project using CocoaPods, specify it in your Podfile:

target '<Your Target Name>' do

  pod 'VirgilSDKPFS', '~> 1.2.1'

Then, run the following command:

$ pod install


Carthage is a decentralized dependency manager that builds your dependencies and provides you with binary frameworks. You can install Carthage with Homebrew using the following command:

$ brew update
$ brew install carthage

To integrate VirgilSDKPFS into your Xcode project using Carthage, perform following steps:

  • Create an empty file with name Cartfile in your project's root folder, that lists the frameworks you’d like to use in your project.
  • Add the following line to your Cartfile: github "VirgilSecurity/virgil-sdk-pfs-x" ~> 1.2.1
  • Run carthage update. This will fetch dependencies into a Carthage/Checkouts folder inside your project's folder, then build each one or download a pre-compiled framework.
  • On your application targets’ “General” settings tab, in the “Linked Frameworks and Libraries” section, add each framework you want to use from the Carthage/Build folder inside your project's folder.
  • On your application targets’ “Build Phases” settings tab, click the “+” icon and choose “New Run Script Phase”. Create a Run Script in which you specify your shell (ex: /bin/sh), add the following contents to the script area below the shell: /usr/local/bin/carthage copy-frameworks and add the paths to the frameworks you want to use under “Input Files”, e.g.: $(SRCROOT)/Carthage/Build/iOS/VSCCrypto.framework $(SRCROOT)/Carthage/Build/iOS/VirgilCrypto.framework $(SRCROOT)/Carthage/Build/iOS/VirgilSDK.framework $(SRCROOT)/Carthage/Build/iOS/VirgilSDKPFS.framework


Be sure that you have already registered at the Developer Dashboard and created your application.

To initialize the SWIFT PFS SDK, you need the Access Token created for a client at Dashboard. The Access Token helps to authenticate client's requests.

let virgil = VSSVirgilApi(token: "[YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN_HERE]")

Chat Example

Before chat initialization, each user must have a Virgil Card on Virgil Card Service. If you have no Virgil Card yet, you can easily create it with our guide.

To begin communicating with PFS service, every user must run the initialization:

// initialize Virgil crypto instance
// enter User's credentials to create OTC and LTC Cards
let secureChatPreferences = SecureChatPreferences (
    crypto: "[CRYPTO]", // (e.g. VSSCrypto())
    identityPrivateKey: bobKey.privateKey,
    identityCard: bobCard.card!,
    accessToken: "[YOUR_ACCESS_TOKEN_HERE]")

// this class performs all PFS logic: creates LTC and OTL Cards, publishes them, etc.
self.secureChat = SecureChat(preferences: secureChatPreferences)

try self.secureChat.initialize()

// the method is periodically called to:
// - check availability of user's OTC Cards on the service
// - add new Cards till their quantity reaches the number (100) noted in current method
self.secureChat.rotateKeys(desiredNumberOfCards: 100) { error in

Then Sender establishes a secure PFS conversation with Receiver, encrypts and sends the message:

func sendMessage(forReceiver receiver: User, message: String) {
    guard let session = self.chat.activeSession(
        withParticipantWithCardId: receiver.card.identifier) else {
        // start new session with recipient if session wasn't initialized yet
            withRecipientWithCard: receiver.card) { session, error in

            guard error == nil, let session = session else {
                // Error handling

            // get an active session by recipient's Card ID
            self.sendMessage(forReceiver: receiver,
                usingSession: session, message: message)

    self.sendMessage(forReceiver: receiver,
        usingSession: session, message: message)

func sendMessage(forReceiver receiver: User,
    usingSession session: SecureSession, message: String) {
    let ciphertext: String
    do {
        // encrypt the message using previously initialized session
        ciphertext = try session.encrypt(message)
    catch {
        // Error handling

    // send a cipher message to recipient using your messaging service
        forReceiverWithName: receiver.name, text: ciphertext)

Receiver decrypts the incoming message using the conversation he has just created:

func messageReceived(fromSenderWithName senderName: String, message: String) {
    guard let sender = self.users.first(where: { $0.name == senderName }) else {
        // User not found

    self.receiveMessage(fromSender: sender, message: message)

func receiveMessage(fromSender sender: User, message: String) {
    do {
        let session = try self.chat.loadUpSession(
            withParticipantWithCard: sender.card, message: message)

        // decrypt message using established session
        let plaintext = try session.decrypt(message)

        // show a message to the user
    catch {
        // Error handling

With the open session, which works in both directions, Sender and Receiver can continue PFS-encrypted communication.

Take a look at our Use Case to see the whole scenario of the PFS-encrypted communication.

Register Users

In Virgil every user has a Private Key and is represented with a Virgil Card (Identity Card), which contains a Public Key and user's identity.

Using Identity Cards, we generate special Cards that have their own life-time:

  • One-time Card (OTC)
  • Long-time Card (LTC)

For each session you can use new OTC and delete it after the session is finished.

To create user's Identity Virgil Cards, use the following code on the Client side:

// generate a new Virgil Key
let aliceKey = virgil.keys.generateKey()

// save the Virgil Key into storage
try! aliceKey.store(withName: @"[KEY_NAME]",
  password: @"[KEY_PASSWORD]")

// create identity for Alice
let aliceIdentity = virgil.identities.
  createUserIdentity(withValue: "alice", type: "name")

// create a create Virgil Card request
var aliceCard = try! virgil.cards.
  createCard(with: aliceIdentity, ownerKey:aliceKey)

// export a create Virgil Card request to string
let exportedCard = aliceCard.exportData()

// transmit the create Virgil Card request to the server and receive response
let cardData = TransmitToServer(exportedCard)

When create Virgil Card request is created and transmitted to the server side, sign it with Application Private Virgil Key and publish user's Card on Virgil Cards Service.


Virgil Security has a powerful set of APIs and the documentation to help you get started:

To find more examples how to use Virgil Products, take a look at SWIFT SDK documentation.


This library is released under the [3-clause BSD License](LICENSE.md).


Our developer support team is here to help you. Find out more information on our Help Center.

You can find us on Twitter or send us email [email protected].

Also, get extra help from our support team on Slack.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Virgil SWIFT PFS SDK README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.