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In a world where security is paramount, there is a need to secure sensitive data that is stored with PHP applications on the file system. Passwords and other sensitive type data should never be stored in plain text.
Zend_Crypt_Xml is a class that allows encryption of nodes of an XML document. This would be typically used to encrypt credentials in a configuration file. This class will then allow this encrypted data to be decrypted at run-time (in memory). This means that plain-text passwords are never stored anywhere, including on the filesystem or in revision control systems.