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JWT with Redis as the source of a shared secret for easy/fast rotation
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rewt.sublime-project

README.md

rewt

This module provides a simplified wrapper for signing and verify JWT tokens while sourcing a shared secret from Redis. This has the advantage of also being able to set a TTL on the key to allow for automated secret rotation.

See this blog post introducing Rewt.

Install

$ npm install rewt

or

$ npm install rewt --save

Usage

Initialization

To use rewt, we first need to tell it where our Redis connection is:

const redis = require('redis');
const Rewt = require('rewt');

let rewt = new Rewt({
  redisConn: redis.createClient('redis://localhost:6379')
});

Constructor options

We can also provide a custom namespace and key TTL. If we don't provide these, rewt defaults to using rewt as the default namespace and one day as the default TTL.

let rewt = new Rewt({
  redisConn: redis.createClient('redis://localhost:6379'),
  redisNamespace: 'foobar',
  ttl: 60 * 60 // One hour in seconds
});

Signing payloads

To sign a payload, we simply give it the object to sign and a callback. Note that we can also pass either a buffer or string to sign instead of an object.

rewt.sign({username: 'hello@hello.com'}, (err, signed) => {
  console.log(`signed payload: ${signed}`);
});

Verifying a payload

Verifying a payload is equally as simple, just provide the token to verify and a callback.

rewt.verify(token, (err, payload) => {
  console.log(`verifyed payload: ${JSON.stringify(payload, null, '  ')}`;
});

Use-case

Why use this module? When signing a JWT you need some sort of secret that can be used by both send and receiver to verify that a token was signed by someone that we trust. Our use case was to use JWTs to verify internal server-to-server communication.

By using Redis as the source of storage for the shared secret, we can have it automatically rotated by setting a TTL on the key (rewt handles recreating a new psuedo-random one if the old key has expired). It also allows us to quickly invalidate a currently shared secret if it becomes compromised by simply updating the key in Redis as all new signing and verification requests will use the new secret. This does mean that requests in flight will fail verification, but this is an acceptable trade-off as the window for signing a payload before a secret invalidation is incredibly small.

Changelog

  • 1.1.0 Provide a redis connection instead of a redis URI to the constructor.
  • 1.0.1 Use async versions of jsonwebtoken
  • 1.0.0 Initial release
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