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    A papers strategy for authenticating with a JSON Web Token.

    This module lets you authenticate endpoints using a JSON web token. It is intended to be used to secure RESTful endpoints without sessions.

    This strategy was ported from passport-jwt to work with papers. My thanks to Mike Nicholson

    This strategy works fine with KOA or KOA2 (via kao-convert)


    npm install papers-jwt


    Configure Strategy

    The JWT authentication strategy is constructed as follows:

    jwtStrategy(validate, options)

    options is an object literal containing options to control how the token is extracted from the request or verified.

    • secretOrKey is a REQUIRED string or buffer containing the secret (symmetric) or PEM-encoded public key (asymmetric) for verifying the token's signature.

    • jwtFromRequest (REQUIRED) Function that accepts a request as the only parameter and returns either the JWT as a string or null. See Extracting the JWT from the request for more details.

    • issuer: If defined the token issuer (iss) will be verified against this value.

    • audience: If defined, the token audience (aud) will be verified against this value.

    • algorithms: List of strings with the names of the allowed algorithms. For instance, ["HS256", "HS384"].

    • ignoreExpiration: if true do not validate the expiration of the token.

    validate is a function with the parameters verify(jwt_payload, req)

    • jwt_payload is an object literal containing the decoded JWT payload.
    • req is the request object (ctx in koa)
    • result should be either a user ( or the body of the payload ), a failure [undefined, null, false] or an error thrown

    An example configuration which reads the JWT from the http Authorization header with the scheme 'bearer':

    var papersjwt = require('papers-jwt');
    var ExtractJwt = papersjwt.ExtractJwt;
    var opts = {}
    opts.jwtFromRequest = ExtractJwt.fromAuthHeader();
    opts.secretOrKey = 'secret';
    opts.issuer = "accounts.examplesoft.com";
    opts.audience = "yoursite.net";
    var authUser = function(jwtPayload, req){
        // use decoded jwt payload to find and return a user
        // otherwise return false, or throw
    var jwtStrategy = papersjwt.Strategy(authUser, opts);

    Extracting the JWT from the request

    There are a number of ways the JWT may be included in a request. In order to remain as flexible as possible the JWT is parsed from the request by a user-supplied callback passed in as the jwtFromRequest parameter. This callback, from now on referred to as an extractor, accepts a request object as an argument and returns the encoded JWT string or null.

    Included extractors

    A number of extractor factory functions are provided in papers-jwt.ExtractJwt. These factory functions return a new extractor configured with the given parameters.

    • fromHeader(header_name) creates a new extractor that looks for the JWT in the given http header
    • fromBodyField(field_name) creates a new extractor that looks for the JWT in the given body field. You must have a body parser configured in order to use this method.
    • fromUrlQueryParameter(param_name) creates a new extractor that looks for the JWT in the given URL query parameter.
    • fromAuthHeaderWithScheme(auth_scheme) creates a new extractor that looks for the JWT in the authorization header, expecting the scheme to match auth_scheme.
    • fromAuthHeader() creates a new extractor that looks for the JWT in the authorization header with the scheme 'bearer'
    • fromExtractors([array of extractor functions]) creates a new extractor using an array of extractors provided. Each extractor is attempted in order until one returns a token.

    Writing a custom extractor function

    If the supplied extractors don't meet your needs you can easily provide your own callback. For example, if you are using the cookie-parser middleware and want to extract the JWT in a cookie you could use the following function as the argument to the jwtFromRequest option:

    var cookieExtractor = function(req) {
        var token = null;
        if (req && req.cookies)
            token = req.cookies['jwt'];
        return token;

    Authenticate requests

    Use papers().registerMiddleware(config) specifying 'JWT' as the strategy.

    var papersConfig = {
      strategies: [ JWTStrategy ]

    or for a specific endpoint

    app.post('/profile', papers().registerMiddleware(config),
        function(req, res) {

    Include the JWT in requests

    The strategy will first check the request for the standard Authorization header. If this header is present and the scheme matches options.authScheme or the shceme matches 'bearer' (the scheme recommended by jwt.io) then the token will be retrieved from it. e.g.

    Authorization: bearer JSON_WEB_TOKEN_STRING.....

    If the authorization header with the expected scheme is not found, the request body will be checked for a field matching either options.tokenBodyField or auth_token if the option was not specified.

    Finally, the URL query parameters will be checked for a field matching either options.tokenQueryParameterName or auth_token if the option was not specified.


    npm install
    npm test

    To generate test-coverage reports:

    npm install -g istanbul
    npm run-script testcov
    istanbul report


    The MIT License


    npm i papers-jwt

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