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RFC 7523

JSON Web Token (JWT) Profile for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants

Pages: 12
Proposed Standard

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          M. Jones
Request for Comments: 7523                                     Microsoft
Category: Standards Track                                    B. Campbell
ISSN: 2070-1721                                            Ping Identity
                                                            C. Mortimore
                                                              Salesforce
                                                                May 2015


                      JSON Web Token (JWT) Profile
      for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants

Abstract

This specification defines the use of a JSON Web Token (JWT) Bearer Token as a means for requesting an OAuth 2.0 access token as well as for client authentication. Status of This Memo This is an Internet Standards Track document. This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has received public review and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741. Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7523. Copyright Notice Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved. This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.1. Notational Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1.2. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2. HTTP Parameter Bindings for Transporting Assertions . . . . . 4 2.1. Using JWTs as Authorization Grants . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2.2. Using JWTs for Client Authentication . . . . . . . . . . 5 3. JWT Format and Processing Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.1. Authorization Grant Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3.2. Client Authentication Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 4. Authorization Grant Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 5. Interoperability Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 6. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 7. Privacy Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 8. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 8.1. Sub-Namespace Registration of urn:ietf:params:oauth:grant-type:jwt-bearer . . . . . . . 10 8.2. Sub-Namespace Registration of urn:ietf:params:oauth:client-assertion-type:jwt-bearer . 10 9. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 9.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 9.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

1. Introduction

JSON Web Token (JWT) [JWT] is a JSON-based [RFC7159] security token encoding that enables identity and security information to be shared across security domains. A security token is generally issued by an Identity Provider and consumed by a Relying Party that relies on its content to identify the token's subject for security-related purposes. The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework [RFC6749] provides a method for making authenticated HTTP requests to a resource using an access token. Access tokens are issued to third-party clients by an authorization server (AS) with the (sometimes implicit) approval of the resource owner. In OAuth, an authorization grant is an abstract term used to describe intermediate credentials that represent the resource owner authorization. An authorization grant is used by the client to obtain an access token. Several authorization grant types are defined to support a wide range of client types and user experiences. OAuth also allows for the definition of new extension grant types to support additional clients or to provide a bridge between OAuth and other trust frameworks. Finally, OAuth allows the
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   definition of additional authentication mechanisms to be used by
   clients when interacting with the authorization server.

   "Assertion Framework for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and
   Authorization Grants" [RFC7521] is an abstract extension to OAuth 2.0
   that provides a general framework for the use of assertions (a.k.a.
   security tokens) as client credentials and/or authorization grants
   with OAuth 2.0.  This specification profiles the OAuth Assertion
   Framework [RFC7521] to define an extension grant type that uses a JWT
   Bearer Token to request an OAuth 2.0 access token as well as for use
   as client credentials.  The format and processing rules for the JWT
   defined in this specification are intentionally similar, though not
   identical, to those in the closely related specification "Security
   Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 Profile for OAuth 2.0 Client
   Authentication and Authorization Grants" [RFC7522].  The differences
   arise where the structure and semantics of JWTs differ from SAML
   Assertions.  JWTs, for example, have no direct equivalent to the
   <SubjectConfirmation> or <AuthnStatement> elements of SAML
   Assertions.

   This document defines how a JWT Bearer Token can be used to request
   an access token when a client wishes to utilize an existing trust
   relationship, expressed through the semantics of the JWT, without a
   direct user-approval step at the authorization server.  It also
   defines how a JWT can be used as a client authentication mechanism.
   The use of a security token for client authentication is orthogonal
   to and separable from using a security token as an authorization
   grant.  They can be used either in combination or separately.  Client
   authentication using a JWT is nothing more than an alternative way
   for a client to authenticate to the token endpoint and must be used
   in conjunction with some grant type to form a complete and meaningful
   protocol request.  JWT authorization grants may be used with or
   without client authentication or identification.  Whether or not
   client authentication is needed in conjunction with a JWT
   authorization grant, as well as the supported types of client
   authentication, are policy decisions at the discretion of the
   authorization server.

   The process by which the client obtains the JWT, prior to exchanging
   it with the authorization server or using it for client
   authentication, is out of scope.
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1.1. Notational Conventions

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119]. Unless otherwise noted, all the protocol parameter names and values are case sensitive.

1.2. Terminology

All terms are as defined in the following specifications: "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework" [RFC6749], the OAuth Assertion Framework [RFC7521], and "JSON Web Token (JWT)" [JWT].

2. HTTP Parameter Bindings for Transporting Assertions

The OAuth Assertion Framework [RFC7521] defines generic HTTP parameters for transporting assertions (a.k.a. security tokens) during interactions with a token endpoint. This section defines specific parameters and treatments of those parameters for use with JWT Bearer Tokens.

2.1. Using JWTs as Authorization Grants

To use a Bearer JWT as an authorization grant, the client uses an access token request as defined in Section 4 of the OAuth Assertion Framework [RFC7521] with the following specific parameter values and encodings. The value of the "grant_type" is "urn:ietf:params:oauth:grant- type:jwt-bearer". The value of the "assertion" parameter MUST contain a single JWT. The "scope" parameter may be used, as defined in the OAuth Assertion Framework [RFC7521], to indicate the requested scope. Authentication of the client is optional, as described in Section 3.2.1 of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749] and consequently, the "client_id" is only needed when a form of client authentication that relies on the parameter is used.
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   The following example demonstrates an access token request with a JWT
   as an authorization grant (with extra line breaks for display
   purposes only):

     POST /token.oauth2 HTTP/1.1
     Host: as.example.com
     Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

     grant_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth%3Agrant-type%3Ajwt-bearer
     &assertion=eyJhbGciOiJFUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6IjE2In0.
     eyJpc3Mi[...omitted for brevity...].
     J9l-ZhwP[...omitted for brevity...]

2.2. Using JWTs for Client Authentication

To use a JWT Bearer Token for client authentication, the client uses the following parameter values and encodings. The value of the "client_assertion_type" is "urn:ietf:params:oauth:client-assertion-type:jwt-bearer". The value of the "client_assertion" parameter contains a single JWT. It MUST NOT contain more than one JWT. The following example demonstrates client authentication using a JWT during the presentation of an authorization code grant in an access token request (with extra line breaks for display purposes only): POST /token.oauth2 HTTP/1.1 Host: as.example.com Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded grant_type=authorization_code& code=n0esc3NRze7LTCu7iYzS6a5acc3f0ogp4& client_assertion_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth%3A client-assertion-type%3Ajwt-bearer& client_assertion=eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6IjIyIn0. eyJpc3Mi[...omitted for brevity...]. cC4hiUPo[...omitted for brevity...]

3. JWT Format and Processing Requirements

In order to issue an access token response as described in OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749] or to rely on a JWT for client authentication, the authorization server MUST validate the JWT according to the criteria below. Application of additional restrictions and policy are at the discretion of the authorization server.
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   1.   The JWT MUST contain an "iss" (issuer) claim that contains a
        unique identifier for the entity that issued the JWT.  In the
        absence of an application profile specifying otherwise,
        compliant applications MUST compare issuer values using the
        Simple String Comparison method defined in Section 6.2.1 of RFC
        3986 [RFC3986].

   2.   The JWT MUST contain a "sub" (subject) claim identifying the
        principal that is the subject of the JWT.  Two cases need to be
        differentiated:

        A.  For the authorization grant, the subject typically
            identifies an authorized accessor for which the access token
            is being requested (i.e., the resource owner or an
            authorized delegate), but in some cases, may be a
            pseudonymous identifier or other value denoting an anonymous
            user.

        B.  For client authentication, the subject MUST be the
            "client_id" of the OAuth client.

   3.   The JWT MUST contain an "aud" (audience) claim containing a
        value that identifies the authorization server as an intended
        audience.  The token endpoint URL of the authorization server
        MAY be used as a value for an "aud" element to identify the
        authorization server as an intended audience of the JWT.  The
        authorization server MUST reject any JWT that does not contain
        its own identity as the intended audience.  In the absence of an
        application profile specifying otherwise, compliant applications
        MUST compare the audience values using the Simple String
        Comparison method defined in Section 6.2.1 of RFC 3986
        [RFC3986].  As noted in Section 5, the precise strings to be
        used as the audience for a given authorization server must be
        configured out of band by the authorization server and the
        issuer of the JWT.

   4.   The JWT MUST contain an "exp" (expiration time) claim that
        limits the time window during which the JWT can be used.  The
        authorization server MUST reject any JWT with an expiration time
        that has passed, subject to allowable clock skew between
        systems.  Note that the authorization server may reject JWTs
        with an "exp" claim value that is unreasonably far in the
        future.

   5.   The JWT MAY contain an "nbf" (not before) claim that identifies
        the time before which the token MUST NOT be accepted for
        processing.
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   6.   The JWT MAY contain an "iat" (issued at) claim that identifies
        the time at which the JWT was issued.  Note that the
        authorization server may reject JWTs with an "iat" claim value
        that is unreasonably far in the past.

   7.   The JWT MAY contain a "jti" (JWT ID) claim that provides a
        unique identifier for the token.  The authorization server MAY
        ensure that JWTs are not replayed by maintaining the set of used
        "jti" values for the length of time for which the JWT would be
        considered valid based on the applicable "exp" instant.

   8.   The JWT MAY contain other claims.

   9.   The JWT MUST be digitally signed or have a Message
        Authentication Code (MAC) applied by the issuer.  The
        authorization server MUST reject JWTs with an invalid signature
        or MAC.

   10.  The authorization server MUST reject a JWT that is not valid in
        all other respects per "JSON Web Token (JWT)" [JWT].

3.1. Authorization Grant Processing

JWT authorization grants may be used with or without client authentication or identification. Whether or not client authentication is needed in conjunction with a JWT authorization grant, as well as the supported types of client authentication, are policy decisions at the discretion of the authorization server. However, if client credentials are present in the request, the authorization server MUST validate them. If the JWT is not valid, or the current time is not within the token's valid time window for use, the authorization server constructs an error response as defined in OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749]. The value of the "error" parameter MUST be the "invalid_grant" error code. The authorization server MAY include additional information regarding the reasons the JWT was considered invalid using the "error_description" or "error_uri" parameters.
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   For example:

     HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
     Content-Type: application/json
     Cache-Control: no-store

     {
      "error":"invalid_grant",
      "error_description":"Audience validation failed"
     }

3.2. Client Authentication Processing

If the client JWT is not valid, the authorization server constructs an error response as defined in OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749]. The value of the "error" parameter MUST be the "invalid_client" error code. The authorization server MAY include additional information regarding the reasons the JWT was considered invalid using the "error_description" or "error_uri" parameters.

4. Authorization Grant Example

The following examples illustrate what a conforming JWT and an access token request would look like. The example shows a JWT issued and signed by the system entity identified as "https://jwt-idp.example.com". The subject of the JWT is identified by email address as "mike@example.com". The intended audience of the JWT is "https://jwt-rp.example.net", which is an identifier with which the authorization server identifies itself. The JWT is sent as part of an access token request to the authorization server's token endpoint at "https://authz.example.net/ token.oauth2". Below is an example JSON object that could be encoded to produce the JWT Claims Set for a JWT: {"iss":"https://jwt-idp.example.com", "sub":"mailto:mike@example.com", "aud":"https://jwt-rp.example.net", "nbf":1300815780, "exp":1300819380, "http://claims.example.com/member":true} The following example JSON object, used as the header of a JWT, declares that the JWT is signed with the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) P-256 SHA-256 using a key identified by the "kid" value "16".
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     {"alg":"ES256","kid":"16"}

   To present the JWT with the claims and header shown in the previous
   example as part of an access token request, for example, the client
   might make the following HTTPS request (with extra line breaks for
   display purposes only):

     POST /token.oauth2 HTTP/1.1
     Host: authz.example.net
     Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

     grant_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth%3Agrant-type%3Ajwt-bearer
     &assertion=eyJhbGciOiJFUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6IjE2In0.
     eyJpc3Mi[...omitted for brevity...].
     J9l-ZhwP[...omitted for brevity...]

5. Interoperability Considerations

Agreement between system entities regarding identifiers, keys, and endpoints is required in order to achieve interoperable deployments of this profile. Specific items that require agreement are as follows: values for the issuer and audience identifiers, the location of the token endpoint, the key used to apply and verify the digital signature or MAC over the JWT, one-time use restrictions on the JWT, maximum JWT lifetime allowed, and the specific subject and claim requirements of the JWT. The exchange of such information is explicitly out of scope for this specification. In some cases, additional profiles may be created that constrain or prescribe these values or specify how they are to be exchanged. Examples of such profiles include the OAuth 2.0 Dynamic Client Registration Core Protocol [OAUTH-DYN-REG], OpenID Connect Dynamic Client Registration 1.0 [OpenID.Registration], and OpenID Connect Discovery 1.0 [OpenID.Discovery]. The "RS256" algorithm, from [JWA], is a mandatory-to-implement JSON Web Signature algorithm for this profile.

6. Security Considerations

The security considerations described within the following specifications are all applicable to this document: "Assertion Framework for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants" [RFC7521], "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework" [RFC6749], and "JSON Web Token (JWT)" [JWT].
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   The specification does not mandate replay protection for the JWT
   usage for either the authorization grant or for client
   authentication.  It is an optional feature, which implementations may
   employ at their own discretion.

7. Privacy Considerations

A JWT may contain privacy-sensitive information and, to prevent disclosure of such information to unintended parties, should only be transmitted over encrypted channels, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS). In cases where it is desirable to prevent disclosure of certain information to the client, the JWT should be encrypted to the authorization server. Deployments should determine the minimum amount of information necessary to complete the exchange and include only such claims in the JWT. In some cases, the "sub" (subject) claim can be a value representing an anonymous or pseudonymous user, as described in Section 6.3.1 of the OAuth Assertion Framework [RFC7521].

8. IANA Considerations

8.1. Sub-Namespace Registration of urn:ietf:params:oauth:grant-type:jwt-bearer

This section registers the value "grant-type:jwt-bearer" in the IANA "OAuth URI" registry established by "An IETF URN Sub-Namespace for OAuth" [RFC6755]. o URN: urn:ietf:params:oauth:grant-type:jwt-bearer o Common Name: JWT Bearer Token Grant Type Profile for OAuth 2.0 o Change Controller: IESG o Specification Document: RFC 7523

8.2. Sub-Namespace Registration of urn:ietf:params:oauth:client-assertion-type:jwt-bearer

This section registers the value "client-assertion-type:jwt-bearer" in the IANA "OAuth URI" registry established by "An IETF URN Sub- Namespace for OAuth" [RFC6755]. o URN: urn:ietf:params:oauth:client-assertion-type:jwt-bearer o Common Name: JWT Bearer Token Profile for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication o Change Controller: IESG o Specification Document: RFC 7523
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9. References

9.1. Normative References

[JWA] Jones, M., "JSON Web Algorithms (JWA)", RFC 7518, DOI 10.17487/RFC7518, May 2015, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7518>. [JWT] Jones, M., Bradley, J., and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web Token (JWT)", RFC 7519, DOI 10.17487/RFC7519, May 2015, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7519>. [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>. [RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66, RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3986>. [RFC6749] Hardt, D., Ed., "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework", RFC 6749, DOI 10.17487/RFC6749, October 2012, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6749>. [RFC7159] Bray, T., Ed., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data Interchange Format", RFC 7159, DOI 10.17487/RFC7159, March 2014, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7159>. [RFC7521] Campbell, B., Mortimore, C., Jones, M., and Y. Goland, "Assertion Framework for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants", RFC 7521, DOI 10.17487/RFC7521, May 2015, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7521>.

9.2. Informative References

[OAUTH-DYN-REG] Richer, J., Jones, M., Bradley, J., Machulak, M., and P. Hunt, "OAuth 2.0 Dynamic Client Registration Protocol", Work in Progress, draft-ietf-oauth-dyn-reg-29, May 2015. [OpenID.Discovery] Sakimura, N., Bradley, J., Jones, M., and E. Jay, "OpenID Connect Discovery 1.0 incorporating errata set 1", November 2014, <http://openid.net/specs/ openid-connect-discovery-1_0.html>.
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   [OpenID.Registration]
              Sakimura, N., Bradley, J., and M. Jones, "OpenID Connect
              Dynamic Client Registration 1.0 incorporating errata set
              1", November 2014, <http://openid.net/specs/
              openid-connect-registration-1_0.html>.

   [RFC6755]  Campbell, B. and H. Tschofenig, "An IETF URN Sub-Namespace
              for OAuth", RFC 6755, DOI 10.17487/RFC6755, October 2012,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6755>.

   [RFC7522]  Campbell, B., Mortimore, C., and M. Jones, "Security
              Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 Profile for OAuth 2.0
              Client Authentication and Authorization Grants", RFC 7522,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7522, May 2015,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7522>.

Acknowledgements

This profile was derived from "Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 Profile for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants" [RFC7522], which has the same authors as this document.

Authors' Addresses

Michael B. Jones Microsoft EMail: mbj@microsoft.com URI: http://self-issued.info/ Brian Campbell Ping Identity EMail: brian.d.campbell@gmail.com Chuck Mortimore Salesforce EMail: cmortimore@salesforce.com