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ska 1.4

Sign- and validate- data (dictionaries, strings) using symmetric-key algorithm.

Package Documentation

Latest Version: 1.4.3

Lets you easily sign data, using symmetric-key algorithm encryption. Allows you to validate signed data and identify possible validation errors. Uses sha1/hmac for signature encryption. Comes with shortcut functions for signing (and validating) dictionaries and URLs.

Key concepts

Hosts, that communicate with each other, share the Secret Key, which is used to sign data (requests). Secret key is never sent around.

One of the cases is signing of HTTP requests. Each (HTTP) request is signed on the sender side using the shared Secret Key and as an outcome produces the triple (signature, auth_user, valid_until) which are used to sign the requests.

  • signature (str): Signature generated.
  • auth_user (str): User making the request. Can be anything.
  • valid_until (float|str): Signature expiration time (Unix timestamp).

On the recipient side, (HTTP request) data is validated using the shared Secret Key. It's being checked whether signature is valid and not expired.

>>> ┌─────────────┐           Data              ┌─────────────┐
>>> │   Host 1    ├────────────────────────────≻│   Host 2    │
>>> │ ─────────── │                             │ ─────────── │
>>> │ secret key  │                             │ secret key  │
>>> │ 'my-secret' │≺────────────────────────────┤ 'my-secret' │
>>> └─────────────┘           Data              └─────────────┘

Features

Core ska module

  • Sign dictionaries.
  • Validate signed dictionaries.
  • Sign URLs. Append and sign additional URL data.
  • Validate URLs.

Django ska module (ska.contrib.django.ska)

  • Model decorators for signing absolute URLs. View (including class-based views) decorators for protecting views to authorised parties only (no authentication required).
  • Authentication backend for Django based on the signatures (tokens) generated using ska, which allows you to get a password-less login to Django web site. Multiple Secret Keys (per provider) supported. Comes with handy callbacks (possible to customise per provider) for various states of authentication.

Prerequisites

  • Core ska module requires Python 2.6.8+, 2.7.+, 3.3.+
  • Django ska module (ska.contrib.django.ska) requires the mentioned above plus Django 1.5.+

Installation

Latest stable version from PyPI.

$ pip install ska

Latest stable version from bitbucket.

$ pip install -e hg+https://bitbucket.org/barseghyanartur/ska@stable#egg=ska

Latest stable version from github.

$ pip install -e git+https://github.com/barseghyanartur/ska@stable#egg=ska

Usage examples

For integration with Django, see the Django integration section.

Basic usage

Pure Python usage.

Sender side

Signing URLs is as simple as follows.

Required imports.

>>> from ska import sign_url

Producing a signed URL.

>>> signed_url = sign_url(
>>>     auth_user='user', secret_key='your-secret_key', url='http://e.com/api/'
>>> )
http://e.com/api/?valid_until=1378045287.0&auth_user=user&signature=YlZpLFsjUKBalL4x5trhkeEgqE8%3D

Default lifetime of a signature is 10 minutes (600 seconds). If you want it to be different, provide a lifetime argument to sign_url function.

Default name of the (GET) param holding the generated signature value is signature. If you want it to be different, provide a signature_param argument to sign_url function.

Default name of the (GET) param holding the auth_user value is auth_user. If you want it to be different, provide a auth_user_param argument to sign_url function.

Default name of the (GET) param holding the valid_until value is valid_until. If you want it to be different, provide a valid_until_param argument to sign_url function.

Note, that by default a suffix '?' is added after the given url and generated signature params. If you want that suffix to be custom or gone, provide a suffix argument to the sign_url function.

With all customisations, it would look as follows.

>>> signed_url = sign_url(
>>>     auth_user='user', secret_key='your-secret_key', lifetime=120,
>>>     url='http://e.com/api/', signature_param='signature',
>>>     auth_user_param='auth_user', valid_until_param='valid_until'
>>> )

It's also possible to add additional data to the signature by providing a extra argument (dict). Note, that additional data is signed as well. If request is somehow tampered (values vary from originally provided ones), signature becomes invalid.

>>> sign_url(
>>>     auth_user = 'user', secret_key = 'your-secret_key', url = 'http://e.com/api/',
>>>     extra = {'email': 'doe@example.com', 'last_name': 'Doe', 'first_name': 'Joe'}
>>>     )

You may now proceed with the signed URL request. If you use the famous requests library, it would be as follows.

>>> import requests
>>> requests.get(signed_url)

If you want to use POST method instead, you would likely want to get a dictionary back, in order to append it to the POST data later.

Required imports.

>>> from ska import signature_to_dict

Producing a dictionary containing the signature data, ready to be put into the request (for example POST) data. All customisations mentioned above for the sign_url function, also apply to the signature_to_dict.

>>> signature_dict = signature_to_dict(
>>>     auth_user='user', secret_key='your-secret_key'
>>>     )
{
    'signature': 'YlZpLFsjUKBalL4x5trhkeEgqE8=',
    'auth_user': 'user',
    'valid_until': '1378045287.0'
}

Adding of additional data to the signature works in the same way.

>>> signature_dict = signature_to_dict(
>>>     auth_user = 'user',
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret_key',
>>>     extra = {
>>>         'email': 'john.doe@mail.example.com',
>>>         'first_name': 'John',
>>>         'last_name': 'Doe'
>>>     }
>>>     )
{
    'auth_user': 'user',
    'email': 'john.doe@mail.example.com',
    'extra': 'email,first_name,last_name',
    'first_name': 'John',
    'last_name': 'Doe',
    'signature': 'cnSoU/LnJ/ZhfLtDLzab3a3gkug=',
    'valid_until': 1387616469.0
}

If you for some reason prefer a lower level implementation, read the same section in the Advanced usage chapter.

Recipient side

Validating the signed request data is as simple as follows.

Required imports.

>>> from ska import validate_signed_request_data

Validating the signed request data. Note, that data value is expected to be a dictionary; request.GET is given as an example. It will most likely vary from what's used in your framework (unless you use Django).

>>> validation_result = validate_signed_request_data(
>>>     data = request.GET, # Note, that ``request.GET`` is given as example.
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret_key'
>>> )

The validate_signed_request_data produces a ska.SignatureValidationResult object, which holds the following data:

  • result (bool): True if data is valid. False otherwise.
  • reason (list): List of strings, indicating validation errors. Empty list in case if result is True.

Default name of the (GET) param holding the signature value is signature. If you want it to be different, provide a signature_param argument to validate_signed_request_data function.

Default name of the (GET) param holding the auth_user value is auth_user. If you want it to be different, provide a auth_user_param argument to validate_signed_request_data function.

Default name of the (GET) param holding the valid_until value is valid_until. If you want it to be different, provide a valid_until_param argument to validate_signed_request_data function.

With all customisations, it would look as follows. Note, that request.GET is given as example.

>>> validation_result = validate_signed_request_data(
>>>     data = request.GET,
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret_key',
>>>     signature_param='signature',
>>>     auth_user_param='auth_user', \
>>>     valid_until_param='valid_until'
>>> )

If you for some reason prefer a lower level implementation, read the same section in the Advanced usage chapter.

Command line usage

It's possible to generate a signed URL from command line using the ska.generate_signed_url module.

Arguments:
>>>  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
>>>
>>>  -au AUTH_USER, --auth-user AUTH_USER
>>>                        `auth_user` value
>>>
>>>  -sk SECRET_KEY, --secret-key SECRET_KEY
>>>                        `secret_key` value
>>>
>>>  -vu VALID_UNTIL, --valid-until VALID_UNTIL
>>>                        `valid_until` value
>>>
>>>  -l LIFETIME, --lifetime LIFETIME
>>>                        `lifetime` value
>>>
>>>  -u URL, --url URL     URL to sign
>>>
>>>  -sp SIGNATURE_PARAM, --signature-param SIGNATURE_PARAM
>>>                        (GET) param holding the `signature` value
>>>
>>>  -aup AUTH_USER_PARAM, --auth-user-param AUTH_USER_PARAM
>>>                        (GET) param holding the `auth_user` value
>>>
>>>  -vup VALID_UNTIL_PARAM, --valid-until-param VALID_UNTIL_PARAM
>>>                        (GET) param holding the `auth_user` value
Example:$ python src/ska/generate_signed_url.py -au user -sk your-secret-key

Advanced usage (low-level)

Sender side

Required imports.

>>> from ska import Signature, RequestHelper

Generate a signature.

>>> signature = Signature.generate_signature(
>>>     auth_user = 'user',
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret-key'
>>>     )

Default lifetime of a signature is 10 minutes (600 seconds). If you want it to be different, provide a lifetime argument to generate_signature method.

>>> signature = Signature.generate_signature(
>>>     auth_user = 'user',
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret-key',
>>>     lifetime = 120 # Signatre lifetime set to 120 seconds.
>>>     )

Your endpoint operates with certain param names and you need to wrap generated signature params into the URL. In order to have the job done in an easy way, create a request helper. Feed names of the (GET) params to the request helper and let it make a signed endpoint URL for you.

>>> request_helper = RequestHelper(
>>>     signature_param = 'signature',
>>>     auth_user_param = 'auth_user',
>>>     valid_until_param = 'valid_until'
>>> )

Append signature params to the endpoint URL.

>>> signed_url = request_helper.signature_to_url(
>>>     signature = signature,
>>>     endpoint_url = 'http://e.com/api/'
>>> )
http://e.com/api/?valid_until=1378045287.0&auth_user=user&signature=YlZpLFsjUKBalL4x5trhkeEgqE8%3D

Make a request.

>>> import requests
>>> r = requests.get(signed_url)

Recipient side

Required imports.

>>> from ska import RequestHelper

Create a request helper. Your endpoint operates with certain param names. In order to have the job done in an easy way, we feed those params to the request helper and let it extract data from signed request for us.

>>> request_helper = RequestHelper(
>>>     signature_param = 'signature',
>>>     auth_user_param = 'auth_user',
>>>     valid_until_param = 'valid_until'
>>> )

Validate the request data. Note, that request.GET is given just as an example.

>>> validation_result = request_helper.validate_request_data(
>>>     data = request.GET,
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret-key'
>>> )

Your implementation further depends on you, but may look as follows.

>>> if validation_result.result:
>>>     # Validated, proceed further
>>>     # ...
>>> else:
>>>     # Validation not passed.
>>>     raise Http404(validation_result.reason)

You can also just validate the signature by calling validate_signature method of the ska.Signature.

>>> Signature.validate_signature(
>>>     signature = 'EBS6ipiqRLa6TY5vxIvZU30FpnM=',
>>>     auth_user = 'user',
>>>     secret_key = 'your-secret-key',
>>>     valid_until = '1377997396.0'
>>>     )

Django integration

'ska` comes with Django model- and view-decorators for producing signed URLs and and validating the endpoints, as well as with authentication backend, which allows password-less login into Django web site using ska generated signature tokens.

Demo

In order to be able to quickly evaluate the ska, a demo app (with a quick installer) has been created (works on Ubuntu/Debian, may work on other Linux systems as well, although not guaranteed). Follow the instructions below for having the demo running within a minute.

Grab the latest ska_example_app_installer.sh:

$ wget https://raw.github.com/barseghyanartur/ska/stable/example/ska_example_app_installer.sh

Assign execute rights to the installer and run the django_dash_example_app_installer.sh:

$ chmod +x ska_example_app_installer.sh

$ ./ska_example_app_installer.sh

Open your browser and test the app.

Foo listing (ska protected views):

Authentication page (ska authentication backend):

Django admin interface:

Configuration

Secret key (str) must be defined in settings module of your project.

>>> SKA_SECRET_KEY = 'my-secret-key'

The following variables can be overridden in settings module of your project.

  • SKA_UNAUTHORISED_REQUEST_ERROR_MESSAGE (str): Plain text error message. Defaults to "Unauthorised request. {0}".
  • SKA_UNAUTHORISED_REQUEST_ERROR_TEMPLATE (str): Path to 401 template that should be rendered in case of 401 responses. Defaults to empty string (not provided).
  • SKA_AUTH_USER (str): The auth_user argument for ska.sign_url function. Defaults to "ska-auth-user".

See the (https://github.com/barseghyanartur/ska/tree/stable/example) for a working example project.

Django model method decorator sign_url

This is most likely be used in module models (models.py).

Imagine, you have a some objects listing and you want to protect the URLs to be viewed by authorised parties only. You would then use get_signed_absolute_url method when rendering the listing (HTML).

>>> from django.db import models
>>> from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _
>>> from django.core.urlresolvers import reverse
>>>
>>> from ska.contrib.django.ska.decorators import sign_url
>>>
>>> class FooItem(models.Model):
>>>     title = models.CharField(_("Title"), max_length=100)
>>>     slug = models.SlugField(unique=True, verbose_name=_("Slug"))
>>>     body = models.TextField(_("Body"))
>>>
>>>     # Unsigned absolute URL, which goes to the foo item detail page.
>>>     def get_absolute_url(self):
>>>         return reverse('foo.detail', kwargs={'slug': self.slug})
>>>
>>>     # Signed absolute URL, which goes to the foo item detail page.
>>>     @sign_url()
>>>     def get_signed_absolute_url(self):
>>>         return reverse('foo.detail', kwargs={'slug': self.slug})

Note, that sign_url decorator accepts the following optional arguments.

  • auth_user (str): Username of the user making the request.
  • secret_key: The shared secret key. If set, overrides the SKA_SECRET_KEY variable set in the settings module of your project.
  • valid_until (float or str ): Unix timestamp. If not given, generated automatically (now + lifetime).
  • lifetime (int): Signature lifetime in seconds.
  • suffix (str): Suffix to add after the endpoint_url and before the appended signature params.
  • signature_param (str): Name of the GET param name which would hold the generated signature value.
  • auth_user_param (str): Name of the GET param name which would hold the auth_user value.
  • valid_until_param (str): Name of the GET param name which would hold the valid_until value.

Django view decorator validate_signed_request

To be used to protect views (file views.py). Should be applied to views (endpoints) that require signed requests. If checks are not successful, a ska.contrib.django.ska.http.HttpResponseUnauthorized is returned, which is a subclass of Django's django.http.HttpResponse. You can provide your own template for 401 error. Simply point the SKA_UNAUTHORISED_REQUEST_ERROR_TEMPLATE in settings module to the right template. See ska/contrib/django/ska/templates/ska/401.html as a template example.

>>> from ska.contrib.django.ska.decorators import validate_signed_request
>>>
>>> # Your view that shall be protected
>>> @validate_signed_request()
>>> def detail(request, slug, template_name='foo/detail.html'):
>>>     # Your code

Note, that validate_signed_request decorator accepts the following optional arguments.

  • secret_key (str) : The shared secret key. If set, overrides the SKA_SECRET_KEY variable set in the settings module of your project.
  • signature_param (str): Name of the (for example GET or POST) param name which holds the signature value.
  • auth_user_param (str): Name of the (for example GET or POST) param name which holds the auth_user value.
  • valid_until_param (str): Name of the (foe example GET or POST) param name which holds the valid_until value.

If you're using class based views, use the m_validate_signed_request decorator instead of validate_signed_request.

Authentication backend

Allows you to get a password-less login to Django web site.

By default, number of logins using the same token is not limited. If you wish that single tokens become invalid after first use, set the following variables to True in your projects' Django settings module.

>>> SKA_DB_STORE_SIGNATURES = True
>>> SKA_DB_PERFORM_SIGNATURE_CHECK = True

Recipient side

Recipient is the host (Django site), to which the sender tries to get authenticated (log in). On the recipient side the following shall be present.

settings.py
>>> AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS = (
>>>     'ska.contrib.django.ska.backends.SkaAuthenticationBackend',
>>>     'django.contrib.auth.backends.ModelBackend',
>>> )
>>> INSTALLED_APPS = (
>>>     # ...
>>>     'ska.contrib.django.ska',
>>>     # ...
>>> )
>>> SKA_SECRET_KEY = 'secret-key'
>>> SKA_UNAUTHORISED_REQUEST_ERROR_TEMPLATE = 'ska/401.html'
>>> SKA_REDIRECT_AFTER_LOGIN = '/foo/logged-in/'
urls.py
>>> urlpatterns = patterns('',
>>>     url(r'^ska/', include('ska.contrib.django.ska.urls')),
>>>     url(r'^admin/', include(admin.site.urls)),
>>> )
Callbacks

There are several callbacks implemented in authentication backend.

  • USER_GET_CALLBACK (string): Fired if user was successfully fetched from database (existing user).
  • USER_CREATE_CALLBACK (string): Fired right after user has been created (user didn't exist).
  • USER_INFO_CALLBACK (string): Fired upon successful authentication.

Example of a callback function (let's say, it resides in module my_app.ska_callbacks):

>>> def my_callback(user, request, signed_request_data)
>>>     # Your code

...where:

  • user is django.contrib.auth.models.User instance.
  • request is django.http.HttpRequest instance.
  • signed_request_data is dictionary with signed request data.

For example, if you need to assign user to some local Django group, you could specify the group name on the client side (add it to the extra dictionary) and based on that, add the user to the group in the callback.

The callback is a path qualifier of the callback function. Considering the example above, it would be "my_app.ska_callbacks.my_callback".

Purging of old signature data

If you have lots of visitors and the SKA_DB_STORE_SIGNATURES set to True, your database grows. If you wish to get rid of old signature token data, you may want to execute the following command using a cron job.

$ ./manage.py ska_purge_stored_signature_data

Sender side

Sender is the host (another Django web site) from which users authenticate to the Recipient using signed URLs.

On the sender side, the only thing necessary to be present is the ska module for Django and of course the same SECRET_KEY as on the server side. Further, the server ska login URL (in our case "/ska/login/") shall be signed using ska (for example, using sign_url function). The auth_user param would be used as a Django username. See the example below.

>>> from ska import sign_url
>>> from ska.contrib.django.ska.settings import SECRET_KEY
>>>
>>> server_ska_login_url = 'https://server-url.com/ska/login/'
>>>
>>> signed_url = sign_url(
>>>     auth_user = 'test_ska_user_0',
>>>     secret_key = SECRET_KEY,
>>>     url = server_ska_login_url
>>>     extra = {
>>>         'email': 'john.doe@mail.example.com',
>>>         'first_name': 'John',
>>>         'last_name': 'Doe',
>>>     }
>>>     )

Note, that you extra dictionary is optional! If email, first_name and last_name keys are present, upon successul validation, the data would be saved into users' profile.

Put this code, for instance, in your view and then make the generated URL available in template context and render it as a URL so that user can click on it for authenticating to the server.

>>> def auth_to_server(request, template_name='auth_to_server.html'):
>>>     # Some code + obtaining the `signed_url` (code shown above)
>>>     context = {
>>>         'signed_url': signed_url,
>>>     }
>>>
>>>     return render_to_response(
>>>         template_name,
>>>         context,
>>>         context_instance = RequestContext(request)
>>>         )

Security notes

From point of security, you should be serving the following pages via HTTP secure connection:

  • The server login page (/ska/login/).
  • The client page containing the authentication links.

Multiple secret keys

Imagine, you have a site to which you want to offer a password-less login for various clients/senders and you don't want them all to have one shared secret key, but rather have their own one. Moreover, you specifically want to execute very custom callbacks not only for each separate client/sender, but also for different sort of users authenticating.

>>>                           ┌────────────────┐
>>>                           │ Site providing │
>>>                           │ authentication │
>>>                           │ ────────────── │
>>>                           │ custom secret  │
>>>                           │    keys per    │
>>>                           │     client     │
>>>                           │ ────────────── │
>>>                           │ Site 1: 'sk-1' │
>>>              ┌───────────≻│ Site 2: 'sk-2' │≺───────────┐
>>>              │            │ Site 3: 'sk-3' │            │
>>>              │      ┌────≻│ Site 4: 'sk-4' │≺────┐      │
>>>              │      │     └────────────────┘     │      │
>>>              │      │                            │      │
>>>              │      │                            │      │
>>> ┌────────────┴─┐  ┌─┴────────────┐  ┌────────────┴─┐  ┌─┴────────────┐
>>> │    Site 1    │  │    Site 2    │  │    Site 3    │  │    Site 4    │
>>> │ ──────────── │  │ ──────────── │  │ ──────────── │  │ ──────────── │
>>> │  secret key  │  │  secret key  │  │  secret key  │  │  secret key  │
>>> │    'sk-1'    │  │    'sk-2'    │  │    'sk-3'    │  │    'sk-4'    │
>>> └──────────────┘  └──────────────┘  └──────────────┘  └──────────────┘

In order to make the stated above possible, the concept of providers is introduced. You can define a secret key, callbacks or redirect URL. See an example below.

>>> SKA_PROVIDERS = {
>>>     # ********************************************************
>>>     # ******************** Basic gradation *******************
>>>     # ********************************************************
>>>     # Site 1
>>>     'client_1': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'sk-1',
>>>         },
>>>
>>>     # Site 2
>>>     'client_2': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'sk-2',
>>>         },
>>>
>>>     # Site 3
>>>     'client_3': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'sk-3',
>>>         },
>>>
>>>     # Site 4
>>>     'client_4': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'sk-4',
>>>         },
>>>
>>>     # ********************************************************
>>>     # ******* You make gradation as complex as you wish ******
>>>     # ********************************************************
>>>     # Client 1, group users
>>>     'client_1.users': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'client-1-users-secret-key',
>>>         },
>>>
>>>     # Client 1, group power_users
>>>     'client_1.power_users': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'client-1-power-users-secret-key',
>>>         'USER_CREATE_CALLBACK': 'foo.ska_callbacks.client1_power_users_create',
>>>         },
>>>
>>>     # Client 1, group admins
>>>     'client_1.admins': {
>>>         'SECRET_KEY': 'client-1-admins-secret-key',
>>>         'USER_CREATE_CALLBACK': 'foo.ska_callbacks.client1_admins_create',
>>>         'REDIRECT_AFTER_LOGIN': '/admin/'
>>>     },
>>> }

See the "Callbacks" section for the list of callbacks.

Obviously, server would have to have the full list of providers defined. On the client side you would only have to store the general secret key and of course the provider UID(s).

When making a signed URL on the sender side, you should be providing the "provider" key in the extra argument. See the example below for how you would do it for "client_1.power_users".

>>> from ska import sign_url
>>> from ska.defaults import DEFAULT_PROVIDER_PARAM
>>>
>>> server_ska_login_url = 'https://server-url.com/ska/login/'
>>>
>>> signed_remote_ska_login_url = sign_url(
>>>     auth_user = 'test_ska_user',
>>>     # Using provider-specific secret key. This value shall be equal to
>>>     # the value of SKA_PROVIDERS['client_1.power_users']['SECRET_KEY'],
>>>     # defined in your projects' Django settings module.
>>>     secret_key = 'client-1-power-users-secret-key',
>>>     url = server_ska_login_url,
>>>     extra = {
>>>         'email': 'test_ska_user_{0}@mail.example.com'.format(uid),
>>>         'first_name': 'John {0}'.format(uid),
>>>         'last_name': 'Doe {0}'.format(uid),
>>>         # Using provider specific string. This value shall be equal to
>>>         # the key string "client_1.power_users" of SKA_PROVIDERS,
>>>         # defined in your projcts' Django settings module.
>>>         DEFAULT_PROVIDER_PARAM: 'client_1.power_users',
>>>     }
>>>     )

License

GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1

Support

For any issues contact me at the e-mail given in the Author section.

Author

Artur Barseghyan <artur.barseghyan@gmail.com>

 
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