In an API I have there’s a requirement to use an authentication method other than OAuth2 or any kind of token generation which requires making an extra HTTP call.

With this in mind there’s this https://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/12/17/dive.html
I’ve only stored passwords as hashes and used functions like password_verify to know the user sent the proper credentials without actually knowing the password stored in DB.
WSSE requires to encrypt with SHA1 the credentials being sent, which means the API needs to retrieve the password in plain text to recreate the digest and compare it to the one sent by the user.
So, how should I be storing this password if the code needs it to recreate the hash?
Should I have something like a master password and store them encrypted instead of hashed?


Most of the information I’ve found about WSSE is very very old, and some implementations have it marked as deprecated, do you know any other type of standard authentication where the user can generate the token instead of having to make an extra HTTP call?

  • @towerful@programming.dev
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    5 months ago

    Is the client a web browser used by an end user? Or is it a trusted environment?

    Because if it’s a trusted environment (server to server) then you could add an extra field to your user table for api_key, and an extra tokens table to your database.
    Think of githubs legacy access token system (and, again, it’s now legacy because it’s a dated and insecure way of doing it).
    Each user gets a randomly generated 16 character string as their api_key.
    Then the user is given a way to create/regenerate/delete records into the tokens table: a friendly name, user id relation, and finally a randomly generated 16 character string as for the token.
    You could even add some sort of token expiry date, to limit the timeframe of damage for a leaked key.

    Another option for untrusted environments (egba we browser) is JWT. It’s used a lot for microservices.
    It’s a token with a lifespan minted by your Auth server. Anyone can decode the token and inspect the payload, so it’s not secure for storing passwords but it’s great for storing user ID and perhaps access scopes. The token can be verified by anyone to ensure the token is authentic and hasn’t been tampered with.
    But only servers that know the JWT secret can mint them.
    The issue with JWTs is that there is no way to revoke them. If you mint a jwt that’s valid for 4 years, the only way to invalidate it is by having all servers share a list of revoked tokens - or by having all servers call back to the Auth server that minted the token (which probably maintains a revoke list) to check it’s still valid. And, there is no way to “ban” a user if they still have a valid token.
    Essentially the JWT is keys to the kingdom, and they are hard to get back.
    Which is why they often have lifetimes of 5-30 minutes, and - you guessed it - are issued along with a refresh token.


    Edit:
    There is SRP (6a).
    https://github.com/LinusU/secure-remote-password
    All the SRP projects I can find haven’t been updated in 5 years - not a good look for a security system.

    The problem with all of these things is that they haven’t been deemed secure enough or provide enough additional benefits for widespread adoption.
    The money has gone into oauth, oidc, saml, jwt etc.

    • @mrkite@programming.dev
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      15 months ago

      The issue with JWTs is that there is no way to revoke them.

      Except you can have a nonce in the JWT that corresponds to a field on the server… which is revokable.

    • @pe1ucaOP
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      15 months ago

      Oh I’ve only used JWTs with OIDC so I didn’t thought about using them directly.
      It could be a good solution since the user can generate them on their own and we can validate them with the correct information (secret or public key).

      About the issue of long lived or not expiring JWT, maybe a custom restriction of valid tokens with lifespans of more than X amount of minutes are rejected?
      Yeah, the token could be a valid one but we could say the payload is invalid for our API.