Hence, welcome to one back-to-basics installment! Up to you!
Tokens and Protocols
Why Do We Validate Tokens? Why do we bother validating tokens, indeed? Your responsibility shifts from verifying raw credentials to verifying that your caller did indeed go through your identity provider of choice and successfully authenticated. The identity provider token verification successful authentication operations by issuing a token, hence your job now becomes validating that token.
Before you begin
More about what that entails in just a moment. Tokens are the form that issued credentials take to be transported, from authority to client and from client to resource.
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In other words, protocols are used for moving tokens. Mechanics of Token Validation Alrighty, what token verification that really mean to validate a token?
Retrieve ID tokens on clients
When can you say that a token is well-formed? If the following holds: A.
The token is correctly formatted according to its intended format B. The token has not been tampered with The meaning of A. Verifying those is just a matter of parsing the values and comparing those with the local time of the authority, modulo any clock skew if known. All the token formats I listed establish that a token must be digitally signed by the authority that issues it.
Step 1: Confirm the Structure of the JWT
A token verification signature is an operation which combines the data you want to protect and token verification will known piece of data, called a key. That combination generates a third piece of data, token verification the token verification. The signature is typically sent with the token, accompanied by information about how the signing operation took place which key was used, what specific algorithm was used.
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An application receiving the token can perform the same operation, provided that it has access to the proper key: it can then compare the result with the signature it received — and if it comes out token verification, that means that something changed the token after issuance, invalidating it.
Given their importance I must make one special mention for one special class of keys, X certificates.
Verify ID Tokens
In order to verify a signature places by a private key, an app receiving the token needs to have access to the certificate containing the corresponding public key. The next checks enter in the merit of the specific issuer and app being accessed. Coming from the Intended Authority You outsource authentication to a given authority because you trust it — but as you do so, it becomes critical to be token verification to verify that authentication did take place with your authority of choice and no else.
Tokens are designed to advertise their origin as clearly and unambiguously as possible. There are two main mechanisms used here, often used together.
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- Validate Access Tokens
- If you receive an access token from an identity provider IdPin general, you don't need to validate it.
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- Step 3: Verify the Claims Prerequisites The tasks in this section might be already handled by your library, SDK, or software framework.
Signature verification. The key used to sign the issued token is uniquely associated to the issuing authority, hence a token signed with a investing in bitcoin you know is associated to a certain authority gives you mathematical certainty modulo stolen keys that the token originated from that authority. Issuer value.
Adding a VerifyAccessToken policy
Every authority is characterized by a unique identifier, typically assigned as part of the representation of that authority within the protocol though which the token has been requested and received. That is often a URI.
Different token formats will typically carry that information in a specific place, like a particular claim type, that the validation logic will parse and compare with the expected value In classic claims-based identity, every authority has both its own key and its own identifier.
In scenarios including identity as a service, however, that might not be the token verification. For example: in Windows Azure Active Directory the token issuing infrastructure is shared across multiple tenants, each representing a distinct business entity.
The signature of issued tokens will be performed with the Windows Azure AD key, common to all, hence the main differentiation between tenant will be reflected by the different issuer identifier found in the token.