JWT Authentication with Spring Boot’s Inbuilt OAuth2 Resource Server

JWT Authentication with Spring Boot’s Inbuilt OAuth2 Resource Server

Using Spring Boot’s inbuilt OAuth2 Resource Server with security best practices for JWT based authentication Using Spring Boot’s inbuilt OAuth2 Resource Server for JWT based authentication. JWT Authentication with Spring Boot’s Inbuilt OAuth2 Resource Server

TL;DR

This article proposes a better approach to achieve  JWT authentication for your  SPA web application backend REST APIs using Spring Boot’s inbuilt  OAuth2 Resource Server. In summary, the proposed approach is:

  • More Secure — Use an RSA private key instead of a _single secret token (symmetric key) _to sign JWTs and RSA public key for signature verification.
  • Convenient — An endpoint (“/login”) to obtain a signed JWT in exchange for valid user credentials.
  • *Authorization *— Spring Security’s method security can be used since the JWT information is available as _Authentication_at controller level; Can use “@PreAuthorize”, “@PostAuthorize” annotations with SPEL for complex authorization needs.
  • Extendable — Can be extended to support federated authentication (ex: “Login with Google”, etc.) and to support refresh_tokens and client side JWT validation using_ “/jwt” _endpoint.
  • Best Practices — Use Spring Boot’s inbuilt OAuth2 Resource Server for inbound request authentication with JWT.
  • Scalable — This approach is stateless and JWT authentication can be scaled horizontally as desired.

Background

Recently I wanted to implement a backend REST API using Spring Boot for an SPA (single page app) written in ReactJS. I could simply use session based authentication (stateful), but it would introduce a new set of requirements like sharing session data across backend servers (without sticky sessions) and session aware load balancing (__sticky sessions) _when scaling horizontally. Either way, the backend will be handling the burden of maintaining each user’s session data (_aka. state). Therefore, I decided to go with stateless authentication.

jwt rest-api authentication spring-security spring-boot

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