couchdb-jwt

    3.4.1 • Public • Published

    CouchDB JWT Authentication Server

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    This is an Express app and CLI tool that manages JSON Web Tokens for a CouchDB server. This acts as a small independent server for generating, renewing and invalidating JWTs that can be used with CouchDB.

    This service requires couch_jwt_auth to be installed on the CouchDB server.

    Note: This library is still being actively developed and may be not be totally secure. It is not recommended to use it in a production environment.

    Motivation

    CouchDB authentication is really easy to use, but doesn't work great in every situation. Suppose you have a third-party API server that is capable of making authenticated CouchDB requests on behalf of a browser client. If you use Basic Authentication, you'll need to store the user's credentials and send them with every request. Cookie Authentication is great if the browser is directly accessing the server, but due to cookie rules you won't be able to transfer that token to the third-party server.

    This is where JSON Web Tokens come into play. They allow you to proxy CouchDB's user sessions while ensuring that they came from trusted source. This way, the token can be sent to any server so it can act on behalf of the user. It works like this:

    1. A client signs in with this server using a username and password.
    2. The server authenticates with CouchDB and sends a new JSON Web Token back to the client.
    3. The client can now use this token to make secure requests against CouchDB.

    A few things to mention:

    • JWTs are similar to proxy authentication. The user's session is stored in the token and CouchDB uses that to authenticate directly. The _users database is only used by this server and is never touched by CouchDB. This means that you can separate your user and application databases into multiple CouchDB instances.
    • This server maintains sessions so that tokens can be easily invalidated in case an attacker gains control of the key. couch_jwt_auth only verifies that the JWT has a valid signature and hasn't expired— it does not verify that the session is still valid. To combat this issue, expirations on tokens are set very low (usually 5 minutes or less) and instead the client will need to renew them on a regular basis.

    Install

    Grab a copy from NPM. If you install globally, the CLI tool is made available.

    npm i couchdb-jwt -g

    This library also exports an Express app, so you can install and use it within an existing project.

    npm i couchdb-jwt --save

    To use this library properly, you will need to set the following configuration for CouchDB. Make the secret anything you'd like, just be sure to let this library know what it is.

    One thing to note is that this library uses the raw secret whereas couch_jwt_auth uses a base64 encoded secret. Here's a way to encode a string to base64

    echo -n 'keyboardcat' | openssl base64
    

    The output, in the example a2V5Ym9hcmRjYXQ= is what you use for hs_secret.

    [jwt_auth]
    hs_secret=a2V5Ym9hcmRjYXQ=
    username_claim=name

    CLI Usage

    $ couchdb-jwt [OPTIONS]
     
    -c, --config <file>     A config file with your options. It's a JSON object.
    --couchdb <url>         URL to the CouchDB server that manages users and has
                            couch_jwt_auth installed.
    --secret <secret>       The secret used to sign JWTs. This should match the
                            raw value CouchDB server has set for jwt_auth.hs_secret
                            (Note: hs_secret is base64 encoded in CouchDB's config)
    --expiresIn <exp>       Time in seconds for JWT expiration. Default is 300 (5 min)
    --session.store <name>  The library to use for storing session data. There are
                            two built in options: memory and couch. Additional
                            session options can be passed using the dot syntax.
    --endpoint <ep>         The web server mount path. Defaults to '/'.
    --port <port>           The port to start the HTTP server on. Defaults to 3000.
    -h, --help              Show this message.
    -v, --version           Print the currently installed version of this server.

    Example call:

    $ couchdb-jwt --couchdb http://admin:pass@localhost:5984 --secret keyboardcat --session.store couch

    Config file

    If you rather use a config file instead of passing options in the command line, you can just create a JSON file, i.e. config.json, with the options you want to use like:

    {
      "couchdb": "http://admin:pass@localhost:5984",
      "secret": "keyboardcat",
      "session": {
        "store": "couch"
      }
    }

    And then call it with:

    $ couchdb-jwt --config config.json

    API Usage

    This library exports a function that creates an Express app which makes it really easy to use. Pass options directly to the method.

    var couchdbjwt = require("couchdb-jwt")({
      secret: "keyboardcat",
      endpoint: "/session",
      expiresIn: "2m",
      session: {
        store: "couch",
        db: "jwt_sessions"
      }
    });
     
    couchdbjwt.listen(3000);

    Since Express is so flexible, you can use this with any existing Node.js HTTP server.

    var app = require("express")();
    var couchdbjwt = require("couchdb-jwt")({
      secret: "keyboardcat"
    });
     
    app.use("/auth", couchdbjwt);

    Here are all of the available options:

    • couchdb String - The URL of the CouchDB server to authenticate against.
    • secret String - The secret to sign tokens with. This should match the couch_jwt_auth configuration in the target CouchDB server. This is the only required option.
    • endpoint String - Server mount path. Defaults to /.
    • algorithms String[] - An array of JSON Web Token hashing algorithms to validate tokens with. The first algorithm is used to sign tokens. Defaults to ["HS256"].
    • expiresIn String | Number - Amount of time a signed token will be valid for. When a string, this takes any ms valid value for time. Numbers are interpreted as seconds. Defaults to "5m".
    • handleErrors Boolean - Adds server routes for handling errors, including Not Found errors. Disable when using couchdb-jwt with a greater Express app. Defaults to true.
    • transform Function - A method that transforms the JWT payload into response data.
    • session Object - Session storage options. These values get passed directly to the session store when created.
      • session.store String | Function - The session storage to use. Built-in values include memory and couch. Other strings are required and used. Functions are considered storage creation methods and are expected to return a storage API object.
    • refreshRoles Function | Boolean - A method that is called on every token renewal that should return an array of updated user roles. This method is called with the JWT payload data and the parsed CouchDB connection options. By default, this method attempts to use the passed JWT to fetch the user's document for updated roles and will return the original role set if it fails. Set to false to disable role refresh and always use the original roles.

    REST API Endpoints

    This servers reveals four REST endpoints under the root path /. The endpoint is configurable through the endpoint option.

    All of the endpoints, except for POST require the JSON Web Token to be set in the Authorization header like so:

    Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg

    GET /

    Returns JSON data containing information about the current JWT and session.

    curl http://127.0.0.1:3000 \
      -H "Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg"
    {
      "ok": true,
      "userCtx": {
        "name": "t",
        "roles": []
      },
      "session": "468fc41ceb02d0bb4e71f26e8e0ce217",
      "token": "eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg",
      "issued": "2016-03-09T00:40:17.000Z",
      "expires": "2016-03-09T00:45:17.000Z"
    }

    POST /

    Authenticates against CouchDB with a username and password and returns a new JSON Web Token. You should send the server a json or url encoded request with username and password fields. The server will respond with a token and content type of application/jwt.

    curl http://127.0.0.1:3000 \
      -X POST \
      -d username=test2 \
      -d password=test
    {
      "ok": true,
      "userCtx": {
        "name": "t",
        "roles": []
      },
      "session": "468fc41ceb02d0bb4e71f26e8e0ce217",
      "token": "eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg",
      "issued": "2016-03-09T00:40:17.000Z",
      "expires": "2016-03-09T00:45:17.000Z"
    }

    PUT /

    Generates a new JWT using an existing JWT. This will continue the current session with a new token. The server will respond with a token and content type of application/jwt.

    curl http://127.0.0.1:3000 \
      -X PUT \
      -H "Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg"
    {
      "ok": true,
      "userCtx": {
        "name": "t",
        "roles": []
      },
      "session": "468fc41ceb02d0bb4e71f26e8e0ce217",
      "token": "eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDgzLCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzODN9.g3ZTxii8rFkB1cTBbB9Apoxu_Xd9jUEXH37GE4nmUNg",
      "issued": "2016-03-09T00:41:23.000Z",
      "expires": "2016-03-09T00:46:23.000Z"
    }

    DELETE /

    Destroys the current JWT session, invalidating all existing JWTs made with this session.

    curl http://127.0.0.1:3000 \
      -X DELETE \
      -H "Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg"
    {
      "ok": true,
      "userCtx": {
        "name": "t",
        "roles": []
      },
      "session": "468fc41ceb02d0bb4e71f26e8e0ce217",
      "token": "eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJuYW1lIjoidCIsInJvbGVzIjpbXSwic2Vzc2lvbiI6IjQ2OGZjNDFjZWIwMmQwYmI0ZTcxZjI2ZThlMGNlMjE3IiwiaWF0IjoxNDU3NDg0MDE3LCJleHAiOjE0NTc0ODQzMTd9.9OjtQQ9ocpDx5ES9sFRgUxbjYNTBt1uX7vD_Lkj3SPg",
      "issued": "2016-03-09T00:40:17.000Z",
      "expires": "2016-03-09T00:45:17.000Z"
    }

    Session Stores

    The library stores JWT session IDs in a database of your choosing. There are two built-in options: memory and couchdb.

    The memory store is the default store and is very simple. It keeps the ids in memory, but this means that it does not scale and leaks memory. Only use this one for local testing purposes.

    The other built in store is couchdb. This creates a new database called jwt_sessions in CouchDB for storing sessions. CouchDB super admin credentials are only necessary if the database hasn't been set up yet.

    There is one other store currently available that uses redis, CouchDB JWT Redis Session Store. If performance matters to you, this is the recommended store.

    Contributing

    I am always looking for contributors! Please submit an issue or pull-request with feedback, bug fixes, new features and questions.

    Install

    npm i couchdb-jwt

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads

    3

    Version

    3.4.1

    License

    MIT

    Last publish

    Collaborators

    • bti
    • mrgalaxy