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Data securely stored in urls.

  • url-save output
  • short codes through GZip
  • serializing through :marshal :yaml
  • hashing through DSS DSS1 MD2 MD4 MD5 MDC2 RIPEMD160 SHA SHA1 SHA224 SHA256 SHA384 SHA512

Great for:

  • password reset links
  • email unsubscribe links
  • click tracking
  • access control
  • ...


gem install url_store


When on Rails, create config/initializers/url_store.rb using generator. A random secret will be generated for you:

rails generate url_store:initializer

Or configure it by hand (e.g in environment.rb):

UrlStore.defaults = {:secret => 'adadasd2adsdasd4ads4eas4dea4dsea4sd'}

In Rails views:

<%= link_to 'paid', :controller =>:payments, :action=>:paid, :data=>UrlStore.encode(:id=>1, :status=>'paid') %>

In controllers:

if data = UrlStore.decode(params[:data])
  Payment.find(data[:id]).update_attribute(:status, data[:status])
  raise 'FRAUD!'


UrlStore.defaults = {:secret => 'something random'} # ALWAYS use your own secret
UrlStore.defaults = {... , :hasher => 'MD5'} # default: 'SHA1'
UrlStore.defaults = {... , :serializer => :yaml} # default: :marshal


  • if you are on rails 4.1+ take a look at Rails.application.message_verifier, it provides a similar feature
  • If you need multiple UrlStores, just use => 'sadasd', ...)
  • As long as you stay under 2k chars there should be no problems. max url lengths per browser/server
  • Data is not (yet) encrypted, users could read(but not change) the encoded data
  • Replay attacks are possible <-> add a timestamp to check the freshness of the encoded data



Michael Grosser
License: MIT
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