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josewebsecuritycrypto

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JOSE is an implementation of Javascript Object Signing and Encryption.

This @nitro_idiot's library implements a JSON Web Signature and allows to encode, decode and inspect JWT tokens.

JOSE can be useful to implement signed token exchange between microservices.

I found a great article on what JWT, JWS and JWE are. Read it you want more about them. To demonstrate, how does token inspection work, I took a JWT token from the article and parsed it with Common Lisp JOSE:

POFTHEDAY> (jose/jwt:inspect-token
            "eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6Ijc4YjRjZjIzNjU2ZGMzOTUzNjRmMWI2YzAyOTA3NjkxZjJjZGZmZTEifQ.eyJpc3MiOiJhY2NvdW50cy5nb29nbGUuY29tIiwic3ViIjoiMTEwNTAyMjUxMTU4OTIwMTQ3NzMyIiwiYXpwIjoiODI1MjQ5ODM1NjU5LXRlOHFnbDcwMWtnb25ub21ucDRzcXY3ZXJodTEyMTFzLmFwcHMuZ29vZ2xldXNlcmNvbnRlbnQuY29tIiwiZW1haWwiOiJwcmFiYXRoQHdzbzIuY29tIiwiYXRfaGFzaCI6InpmODZ2TnVsc0xCOGdGYXFSd2R6WWciLCJlbWFpbF92ZXJpZmllZCI6dHJ1ZSwiYXVkIjoiODI1MjQ5ODM1NjU5LXRlOHFnbDcwMWtnb25ub21ucDRzcXY3ZXJodTEyMTFzLmFwcHMuZ29vZ2xldXNlcmNvbnRlbnQuY29tIiwiaGQiOiJ3c28yLmNvbSIsImlhdCI6MTQwMTkwODI3MSwiZXhwIjoxNDAxOTEyMTcxfQ.TVKv-pdyvk2gW8sGsCbsnkqsrS0T-H00xnY6ETkIfgIxfotvFn5IwKm3xyBMpy0FFe0Rb5Ht8AEJV6PdWyxz8rMgX2HROWqSo_RfEfUpBb4iOsq4W28KftW5H0IA44VmNZ6zU4YTqPSt4TPhyFC9fP2D_Hg7JQozpQRUfbWTJI")

(("exp" . 1401912171) ("iat" . 1401908271) ("hd" . "wso2.com")
 ("aud"
  . "825249835659-te8qgl701kgonnomnp4sqv7erhu1211s.apps.googleusercontent.com")
 ("email_verified" . T) ("at_hash" . "zf86vNulsLB8gFaqRwdzYg")
 ("email" . "prabath@wso2.com")
 ("azp"
  . "825249835659-te8qgl701kgonnomnp4sqv7erhu1211s.apps.googleusercontent.com")
 ("sub" . "110502251158920147732") ("iss" . "accounts.google.com"))

(("alg" . "RS256") ("kid" . "78b4cf23656dc395364f1b6c02907691f2cdffe1"))

#(77 82 175 250 151 114 190 77 160 91 203 6 176 38 236 158 74 172 173 45 19 248
  125 52 198 118 58 17 57 8 126 2 49 126 139 111 22 126 72 192 169 183 199 32
  76 167 45 5 21 237 17 111 145 237 240 1 9 87 163 221 91 44 115 242 179 32 95
  97 209 57 106 146 163 244 95 17 245 41 5 190 34 58 202 184 91 111 10 126 213
  185 31 66 0 227 133 102 53 158 179 83 134 19 168 244 173 225 51 225 200 80
  189 124 253 131 252 120 59 37 10 51 165 4 84 125 181 147 36)

Inspect returns payload, headers and the signature.

There are also two methods encode and decode. Here is how we can use them to issue and verify JWT token:

POFTHEDAY> (defparameter
               *secret* (ironclad:ascii-string-to-byte-array
                         "I Love Common Lisp!"))

POFTHEDAY> (defparameter
               *token*
             (jose:encode :hs256 *secret*
                          '(("user"  . "Bob")
                            ("email" . "bob@gmail.com"))))

;; Now this token can be sent to the authenticated
;; user so that user can pass it back during API calls:
POFTHEDAY> *token*
"eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJ1c2VyIjoiQm9iIiwiZW1haWwiOiJib2JAZ21haWwuY29tIn0.NLgg5RxlKDNqw1cqFU0_HysIu-zO7JBYUQN2IZF6c6w"

;; And when we'll receive such API call,
;; we can know who this user is.
POFTHEDAY> (jose:decode :hs256 *secret*
                        *token*)
(("user" . "Bob") ("email" . "bob@gmail.com"))
(("alg" . "HS256") ("typ" . "JWT"))

A cool feature of JWT token is that it is signed and you can trust the payload's content. Let's pretend, that Bob is the "evil hacker" who wants to get access to another account.

To do this, Bob will modify payload and use header and sign from the original token:

POFTHEDAY> (defun replace-payload (token new-payload)
             (rutils:with (((original-header rutils:_ original-sign)
                            (str:split "." token))
                           (json-payload
                            (jonathan:to-json new-payload :from :alist))
                           (new-encoded-payload
                            (jose/base64:base64url-encode json-payload)))
               (str:join "."
                         (list original-header
                               new-encoded-payload
                               original-sign))))

POFTHEDAY> (defparameter *new-token*
             (replace-payload *token*
                              '(("user"  . "Alice")
                                ("email" . "alice@wonderland.in"))))

;; Now we'll try to decode token on the server-side
;; and receive error from JOSE:
POFTHEDAY> (jose:decode :hs256 *secret*
                        *new-token*)
; Debugger entered on #<JOSE/ERRORS:JWS-VERIFICATION-ERROR {1005C37033}>
[1] POFTHEDAY> 
; Evaluation aborted on #<JOSE/ERRORS:JWS-VERIFICATION-ERROR {1005C37033}>

;; But we still can inspect bad token because
;; it's content is not encrypted:
POFTHEDAY> (jose:inspect-token *new-token*)

(("email" . "alice@wonderland.in") ("user" . "Alice"))

(("alg" . "HS256") ("typ" . "JWT"))

#(52 184 32 229 28 101 40 51 106 195 87 42 21 77 63 31 43 8 187 236 206 236 144
  88 81 3 118 33 145 122 115 172)

BTW, as you can see, tokens are not encoded, they are signed. Because of that, you should pass them only over encrypted channels.


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