Decrypt Price Confirmations

When your creative wins an auction, Google can inform you what the winning price was, if the HTML snippet or VAST URL that defines the creative includes the WINNING_PRICE macro. Google returns the winning price in encrypted form. The following topics explain how your application can decrypt the winning price information.

The WINNING_PRICE macro can be included in a creative, for example, with an invisible pixel request rendered as part of the ad:

  <script language='JavaScript1.1' src='' />
  <img src='' width='1' height='1' />

Similarly, the WINNING_PRICE macro may be included in the VAST URL of a video creative:


  1. Your application includes the WINNING_PRICE macro in the HTML snippet or VAST URL it returns to Google.
  2. Google substitutes the winning price for the macro in unpadded web-safe base64 encoding (RFC 3548).
  3. The snippet passes the confirmation in the format you have chosen. For example, the confirmation might be passed in the URL of an invisible pixel request rendered as part of the ad.
  4. On the server, your application web-safe base64 decodes the winning price information and decrypts the result.


You will need a crypto library that supports SHA-1 HMAC, such as Openssl.

Sample code

Sample code is provided in Java and C++ and can be downloaded from

  • The Java sample code uses the base64 decoder from the Apache commons project. You will not need to download the Apache commons code, as the reference implementation includes the necessary part and is therefore self-contained.

  • The C++ sample code uses the OpenSSL base64 BIO method. It takes a web-safe base64 encoded string (RFC 3548) and decodes it. Normally, web-safe base64 strings replace "=" padding with "." (note that quotation marks are added for reading clarity and are not included in the protocol) but the macro substitution does not pad the encrypted price. The reference implementation adds padding because OpenSSL has trouble with unpadded strings.


Winning price encryption and decrpytion requires two secret, but shared, keys. An integrity key, and encryption key, referred to as i_key, and e_key respectively. Both keys are provided at account setup as web-safe base64 strings.

Example integrity and encryption keys:

skU7Ax_NL5pPAFyKdkfZjZz2-VhIN8bjj1rVFOaJ_5o=  // Encryption key (e_key)
arO23ykdNqUQ5LEoQ0FVmPkBd7xB5CO89PDZlSjpFxo=  // Integrity key (i_key)

Keys should be web-safe decoded and then base64 decoded by your application:

e_key = WebSafeBase64Decode('skU7Ax_NL5pPAFyKdkfZjZz2-VhIN8bjj1rVFOaJ_5o=')
i_key = WebSafeBase64Decode('arO23ykdNqUQ5LEoQ0FVmPkBd7xB5CO89PDZlSjpFxo=')

Encryption scheme

The price is encrypted using a custom encryption scheme that is designed to minimize size overhead while ensuring adequate security. The encryption scheme uses a keyed HMAC algorithm to generate a secret pad based on the unique impression event ID.

The encrypted price has a fixed length of 28 bytes. It is comprised of a 16-byte initialization vector, 8 bytes of ciphertext, and a 4-byte integrity signature. The encrypted price is web-safe base64-encoded, according to RFC 3548, with padding characters omitted. Thus, the 28-byte encrypted price is encoded as a 38 character web-safe base-64 string irrespective of the winning price paid.

Example encrypted prices:

WEp8wQAAAABnFd5EkB2k1wJeFcAj-Z_JVOeGzA  // 100 CPI micros
WEp8sQAAAACwF6CtLJrXSRFBM8UiTTIyngN-og  // 1900 CPI micros
WEp8nQAAAAADG-y45xxIC1tMWuTjzmDW6HtroQ  // 2700 CPI micros

The encrypted format is:

{initialization_vector (16 bytes)}{encrypted_price (8 bytes)}
{integrity (4 bytes)}

The price is encrypted as <price xor HMAC(encryption_key, initialization_vector)> so decryption calculates HMAC(encryption_key,initialization_vector) and xor's with the encrypted price to reverse the encryption. The integrity stage takes 4 bytes of <HMAC(integrity_key, price||initialization_vector)> where || is concatenation.


iv initialization vector (16 bytes - unique to the impression)
e_key encryption key (32 bytes - provided at account set up)
i_key integrity key (32 bytes - provided at account set up)
price (8 bytes - in micros of account currency)


hmac(k, d) SHA-1 HMAC of data d, using key k
a || b string a concatenated with string b


pad = hmac(e_key, iv)  // first 8 bytes
enc_price = pad <xor> price
signature = hmac(i_key, price || iv)  // first 4 bytes

final_message = WebSafeBase64Encode( iv || enc_price || signature )

Decryption scheme

Your decryption code must decrypt the price using the encryption key, and verify the integrity bits with the integrity key. The keys will be provided to you during setup. There aren't any restrictions on the details of how you structure your implementation. For the most part, you should be able to take the sample code and adapt it according to your needs.


e_key encryption key, 32 bytes - provided at account set up
i_key integrity key, 32 bytes - provided at account set up
final_message 38 characters web-safe base64 encoded


// Base64 padding characters are omitted.
// Add any required base64 padding (= or ==).
final_message_valid_base64 = AddBase64Padding(final_message)

// Web-safe decode, then base64 decode.
enc_price = WebSafeBase64Decode(final_message_valid_base64)

// Message is decoded but remains encrypted.
(iv, p, sig) = enc_price // Split up according to fixed lengths.
price_pad = hmac(e_key, iv)
price = p <xor> price_pad

conf_sig = hmac(i_key, price || iv)
success = (conf_sig == sig)

Detect stale response attacks

To detect stale response, or replay, attacks, it's recommended that you filter responses with a timestamp that differs significantly from the system time, after accounting for timezone differences.

The initialization vector contains a timestamp in the first 8 bytes. It can be read by the following C++ function:

void GetTime(const char* iv, struct timeval* tv) {
    uint32 val;
    memcpy(&val, iv, sizeof(val));
    tv->tv_sec = htonl(val);
    memcpy(&val, iv+sizeof(val), sizeof(val));
    tv->tv_usec = htonl(val)

The timestamp can be converted to a human readable form using the following C++ code:

struct tm tm;
localtime_r(&tv->tv_sec, &tm);

       tm.tm_year + 1900, tm.tm_mon + 1, tm.tm_mday,
       tm.tm_hour, tm.tm_min, tm.tm_sec,

Java library

Instead of implementing the crypto algorithms to encode and decode the winning price, you can use For more information, see Cryptography.

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