This article will show you how to configure a Kotlin Ktor application to get access tokens from IdentityServer4 using OAuth 2.0. These tokens can then be used to access an API on behalf of a user. We’ll be using JWTs as our access tokens. To find out how to authorize access to a Ktor API using JWTs, check out my past article “JSON Web Token Verification in Ktor using Kotlin and Java-JWT”.
Ktor OAuth Support
Currently, Ktor only supports OAuth which means our Ktor application can receive access tokens to talk to an API on behalf of the user, but it cannot find out who the user is. If we wanted to find out who the user is and to receive identity tokens, we would need OpenID Connect, which is currently unsupported...Read more
Recently, Okta released an article titled “Nobody Cares About OAuth or OpenID Connect” that authoritatively stated that “Developers don’t care about OAuth or OpenID Connect". I strongly disagree.
Their key takeaways are:
- The security community needs to keep developers safe
- Developers using OAuth and OpenID Connect client libraries is similar to them rolling their own crypto
- Client libraries should handle all of the authentication and authorization for developers, not just OAuth and OpenID Connect
Proof Key for Code Exchange (PKCE) was initially designed for native/mobile client applications when using OAuth; however, as a happy accident, it’s also handy for all other kinds of applications. Because of this, new specifications and BCP documents are starting to encourage the use of PKCE across the board.
PKCE allows us to ensure that the client application swapping an authorization code for tokens, is the same application that initially requested the authorization code. It protects us from bad actors from stealing authorization codes and using them.
In this article, we’re going to see how we can add PKCE support to an existing ASP.NET Core OpenID Connect client application (with some IdentityServer4 config thrown in for good measure).Read more
Confused how to properly authenticate access an API when using a browser-based application? Then use the below cheat sheet to choose the right approach for your needs.
I have an application running within the context of the browser (e.g. a React or Angular Single Page Application (SPA)) that wants to access an API on behalf of a user. This authenticated API call will be made directly from the user’s browser, and only our application should be able to call it on behalf of our authenticated user (i.e. we’re not vulnerable to Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF/XSRF).
A signed JSON Web Token (JWT) is one of the most useful and common constructs you’ll see floating around modern security systems. These tokens give us a simple, secure structure in which to transfer data and verify that it has not been tampered with. However, what about when we need to send sensitive data within a JWT?
To solve this issue, we have JSON Web Encryption (JWE), enabling us to encrypt a token so that only the intended recipient can read it.
In this article, we’re going to look at how we can protect sensitive data within our JWTs in .NET Core, using JWEs and the various token libraries available to us.
We’re going to use JWE Compact Serialization (as opposed to JWE JSON Serialization), which looks something like the following...Read more