Introduction

JOSE is a set of high quality specifications that specify how data payloads can be signed/validated and/or encrypted/decrypted with the cryptographic properties set in the JSON-formatted metadata (headers). The data to be secured can be in JSON or other formats (plain text, XML, binary data).

JOSE is a key piece of advanced OAuth2 and OpenId Connect applications but can also be successfully used for securing the regular HTTP web service communications.

CXF 3.0.x, 3.1.x and 3.2.0 provide a complete implementation of JOSE and offer a comprehensive utility and filter support for protecting JAX-RS services and clients with the help of JOSE.

CXF OAuth2 and OIDC modules are also depending on it.

New: Signature and Verification support for multiparts using JWS Detached Content mode.

New: Optional HTTP Header protection.

Maven Dependencies

 

Having the following dependency will let developers write JOSE JWS or JWE code:

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.apache.cxf</groupId>
  <artifactId>cxf-rt-rs-security-jose</artifactId>
  <version>3.1.7</version>
</dependency>

 

Having the following dependency will let developers use JAX-RS JOSE filters which will sign and/or encrypt the data streams, and decrypt or/and validate the incoming JOSE sequences and make the original data available for the processing.

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.apache.cxf</groupId>
  <artifactId>cxf-rt-rs-security-jose-jaxrs</artifactId>
  <version>3.1.7</version>
</dependency>

You may also need to include BouncyCastle for some of JWE encryption algorithms to be supported:

<dependency>
     <groupId>org.bouncycastle</groupId>
     <artifactId>bcprov-ext-jdk15on</artifactId>
     <version>1.54</version>
</dependency>

BouncyCastle provider can be registered and unregistered as follows:

BouncyCastle Provider
import java.security.Security;
import org.bouncycastle.jce.provider.BouncyCastleProvider;

private static void registerBouncyCastle() throws Exception {
    Security.addProvider(new BouncyCastleProvider());    
}

private static void unregisterBouncyCastle() throws Exception {
    Security.removeProvider(BouncyCastleProvider.PROVIDER_NAME);    
}

 

Java and JCE Policy 

Java7 or higher is recommended in most cases.

JWE

Java6 does not support JWE AES GCM key wrap and content encryption algorithms (while with BouncyCastle it is not possible to submit JWE Header properties as an extra input to the encryption process to get them integrity protected), however with Java 6 one can use AesCbcHmac content encryption if BouncyCastle is installed.

Unlimited JCE Policy for Java 7/8/9 needs to be installed if a size of the encryption key is 256 bits (example, JWE A256GCM).

JWS

Java 6 should also be fine but note only CXF 3.0.x can be run with Java 6.

JOSE Overview and Implementation

JOSE consists of the following key parts:

  • JWA - JSON Web Algorithms where all supported signature and encryption algorithms are listed
  • JWK - JSON Web Keys - introduces a JSON format for describing the public and private keys used by JWA algorithms
  • JWS - JSON Web Signature - describes how the data can be signed or validated and introduces compact and JSON JWS formats for representing the signed data
  • JWE - JSON Web Encryption - describes how the data can be encrypted or decrypted and introduces compact and JSON JWE formats for representing the encrypted data  

Additionally, JWT (JSON Web Token), while technically being not part of JOSE, is often used as an input material to JWS and JWE processors, especially in OAuth2 flows (example: OAuth2 access tokens can be represented internally as JWT, OpenIdConnect IdToken and UserInfo are effectively JWTs). JWT describes how a set of claims in JSON format can be JWS-signed and/or JWE-enctypted. 

JWA Algorithms

All JOSE signature and encryption algorithms are grouped and described in the JWA (JSON Web Algorithms) specification.

The algorithms are split into 3 categories: signature algorithms (HMAC, RSA, Elliptic Curve), algorithms for supporting the encryption of content encryption keys (RSA-OAEP, AES Key Wrap, etc), and algorithms for encrypting the actual content (AES GCM or AES CBC HMAC).

The specification lists all the algorithms that can be used for signing or encrypting the data and also describes how some of these algorithms work in cases
where Java JCA (or BouncyCastle) does not support them directly, example, AES-CBC-HMAC-SHA2.
Algorithm name is a type + hint, example: HS256 (HMAC with SHA-256), RSA-OAEP-256 (RSA OAEP key encryption with SHA-256), etc.

All JWS and JWE algorithms process not only the actual data but also the meta-data (the algorithm properties) thus ensuring they are integrity-protected, additionally JWE algorithms produce authentication tags which ensure the already encrypted content won't be manipulated.

Please refer to the specification to get all the information needed (with the follow up links to the corresponding RFC when applicable) about a particular signature or encryption algorithm: the properties, recommended key sizes, other security considerations related to all of or some specific algorithms. CXF JOSE code already enforces a number of the recommended constraints.

CXF offers the utility support for working with JWA algorithms in this package.

Typically one would supply an algorithm property in a type-safe way either to JWS or JWE processor, for example,  SignatureAlgorithm.HS256 for JWS, KeyAlgorithm.A256KW plus ContentAlgorithm.A256GCM for JWE, etc. Each enum has methods for checking a key size, JWA and Java JCA algorithm names.

JWK Keys

JWK (JSON Web Key) is a JSON document describing the cryptographic key properties. JWKs are very flexible and one can expect JWKs becoming one of the major mechanisms for representing and storing cryptographic keys. While one does not have to represent the keys as JWK in order to sign or encrypt the document and rely on Java JCA secret and asymmetric keys instead, JWK is a preferred representation of signature or encryption keys in JOSE.

For example:

Secret HMAC Key
{
   "kty":"oct",
   "k":"AyM1SysPpbyDfgZld3umj1qzKObwVMkoqQ-EstJQLr_T-1qS0gZH75aKtMN3Yj0iPS4hcgUuTwjAzZr1Z9CAow",
   "kid":"Secret HMAC key"
}

or

Public RSA Key
{
  "kty":"RSA",
  "n": "0vx7agoebGcQSuuPiLJXZptN9nndrQmbXEps2aiAFbWhM78LhWx
     4cbbfAAtVT86zwu1RK7aPFFxuhDR1L6tSoc_BJECPebWKRXjBZCiFV4n3oknjhMs
     tn64tZ_2W-5JsGY4Hc5n9yBXArwl93lqt7_RN5w6Cf0h4QyQ5v-65YGjQR0_FDW2
     QvzqY368QQMicAtaSqzs8KJZgnYb9c7d0zgdAZHzu6qMQvRL5hajrn1n91CbOpbI
     SD08qNLyrdkt-bFTWhAI4vMQFh6WeZu0fM4lFd2NcRwr3XPksINHaQ-G_xBniIqb
     w0Ls1jF44-csFCur-kEgU8awapJzKnqDKgw",
  "e":"AQAB",
  "alg":"RS256",
  "kid":"Public RSA Key"}

A 'kid' property can be of special interest as it allows to identify a key but also help with the simple key rotation mechanism realized (ex, OIDC Asymmetric Key Rotation).

A collection of JWK keys is called a JWK Key Set which is represented as JSON array of JWKs.

JWK can contain X509 certificates or their thumbprints if preferred.

CXF offers a utility support for reading and writing JWK keys and key sets and working with the encrypted inlined and standalone JWK stores in this package.

For example, a key set containing public JWK keys can be seen here and referred to from the configuration properties. The private (test) key set can be represented in a clear form, though most likely you'd want a private key set encrypted and referred to like this

One can inline the encrypted key or the key set directly in the configuration properties. For example, here is how an encrypted single JWK key is inlined. Similarly, here is how an encrypted collection of keys is inlined.

CXF assumes that JWK keys have been encrypted if a password provider is available in a request context, it is typically registered with JAX-RS endpoints. The encryption is done with a password based PBES2 algorithm

Support for the pluggable strategies for loading JWKs is on the map.

For example, here is how you can load a JWK key using its 'kid':

JWK examples
InputStream is = JsonWebKeyTest.class.getResourceAsStream(fileName);
JsonWebKeys keySet = JwkUtils.readJwkSet(is);
JsonWebKey key = keySet.getKey("Public RSA Key");
String thumbprint = JwkUtils.getThumbprint(key);
assertEquals("NzbLsXh8uDCcd-6MNwXF4W_7noWXFZAfHkxZsRGC9Xs", thumbprint);
KeyType keyType = key.getKeyType();
assertEquals(KeyType.RSA, keyType);

JsonWebKeys also supports the retrieval of keys by their type (RSA, EC, Octet) and operation (ENCRYPT, SIGN, etc).
Once you have JWK loaded it is typically submitted to JWS or JWE providers.

JWS Signature

JWS (JSON Web Signature) document describes how a document content can be signed. For example, Appendix A1 shows how the content can be signed with an HMAC key

CXF ships JWS related classes in this package and offers a support for all of JWA signature algorithms.

Signature and Verification Providers

JwsSignatureProvider supports signing the content, JwsSignatureVerifier - validating the signatures.

Note the signature and verification capabilities are represented by 2 different interfaces - it was done to keep the interfaces minimalistic and have the concerns separated which can be appreciated most in the cases where the code only signs or only validates.

The following table shows the algorithms and the corresponding providers (org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.jws package):

AlgorithmJWS Header 'alg'JwsSignatureProviderJwsSignatureVerifier
HMACHS256, HS384, HS512

HmacJwsSignatureProvider

HmacJwsSignatureVerifier

RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5RS256, RS384, RS512PrivateKeyJwsSignatureProviderPublicKeyJwsSignatureVerifier
ECDSAES256, ES384, ES512EcDsaJwsSignatureProviderEcDsaJwsSignatureVerifier
RSASSA-PSSPS256, PS384, PS512PrivateKeyJwsSignatureProviderPublicKeyJwsSignatureVerifier
NonenoneNoneJwsSignatureProviderNoneJwsSignatureVerifier

Either of these providers (except for None) can be initialized with the keys loaded from JWK or Java JKS stores or from the in-memory representations.

RS256/384/512 algorithms are likely to be used most often at the moment due to existing JKS stores being available everywhere and a relatively easy way of making the public validation keys available. 'None' algorithm might be useful when a JWS sequence is subsequently JWE-encrypted or when a 2-way TLS (with client and server certificates) is used.

Once you have decided which algorithm needs to be supported you can initialize an appropriate pair of JwsSignatureProvider and JwsSignatureVerifier if both signing the data and the verification are needed. If only the signing is needed - select JwsSignatureProvider, only the verification - select JwsSignatureVerifier. The selected providers are submitted to JWS Compact or JWS JSON producers or consumers.

JwsUtils utility class has a lot of helper methods to load JwsSignatureProvider or JwsSignatureVerifier and to get JWS sequences created and validated.

JWS Compact

JWS Compact representation is the most often used JWS sequence format. It is the concatenation of Base64URL-encoded sequence of JWS headers (algorithm and other properties),  Base64URL-encoded sequence of the actual data being protected and Base64URL-encoded sequence of the signature algorithm output bytes.

JwsCompactProducer and JwsCompactConsumer offer a support for producing and consuming compact JWS sequences, protecting the data in JSON or non-JSON formats.

JwsJwtCompactProducer and JwsJwtCompactConsumer are their simple extensions which help with processing typed JWT Tokens.

 For example, here is how an Appendix A1 example can be done in CXF:

 

CXF JWS Compact HMac
JwtClaims claims = new JwtClaims();
claims.setIssuer("joe");
claims.setExpiryTime(1300819380L);
claims.setClaim("http://example.com/is_root", Boolean.TRUE);

JwsCompactProducer jwsProducer = new JwsJwtCompactProducer(claims);

// Sign
// Load HmacJwsSignatureProvider directly, see the next example for the alternative approach
String jwsSequence = jwsProducer.signWith(new HmacJwsSignatureProvider(ENCODED_MAC_KEY, SignatureAlgorithm.HS256));

// Validate
JwsJwtCompactConsumer jwsConsumer = new JwsJwtCompactConsumer(jwsSequence);

// Load HmacJwsSignatureVerifier directly, see the next example for the alternative approach
jwsConsumer.verifySignatureWith(new HmacJwsSignatureVerifier(ENCODED_MAC_KEY, SignatureAlgorithm.HS256)));

// Get the data
JwtClaims protectedClaims = jws.getJwtClaims();

In the above example, the data (JwtToken) is submitted to an instance of JwsCompactProducer (JwsJwtCompactProducer) and signed with an HMac key.

Here is another example:

CXF JWS Compact RSA
JwsCompactProducer jwsProducer = new JwsCompactProducer("Hello World");

// Load private RSA key from the JWK Key set stored on the disk
InputStream is = JsonWebKeyTest.class.getResourceAsStream(fileName);
JsonWebKeys keySet = JwkUtils.readJwkSet(is);
JsonWebKey jwkPrivateRsaKey = keySet.getKey("Private RSA Key");

// Sign
String jwsSequence = jwsProducer.signWith(jwkPrivateRsaKey);

// Validate
JwsCompactConsumer jwsConsumer = new JwsCompactConsumer(jwsSequence);

// Load Public RSA Key from Java JKS Store
PublicKey publicRsaKey = CryptoUtils.loadPublicKey(keyStoreLocation, keyStorePassword, keyAlias, KeyStore.getDefaultType()); 

jws.verifySignatureWith(publicRsaKey);

// Get the data
String helloWorldString = jwsConsumer.getDecodedJwsPayload();

In this latest example a plain text sequence is encoded with a private RSA key loaded from the JWK store and validated with a public RSA key loaded from the existing Java JKS store.

JWS JSON

While JWS Compact is optimized and represents a concatenation of 3 Base64URL values, JWS JSON is an open JSON container, see Appendix 6.

The most interesting feature of JWS JSON is that allows a content be signed for multiple recipients. For example,  the immediate consumer will validate a signature with one key, forward the payload to the next consumer which will also validate the content with another key, etc.  

JwsJsonProducer and JwsJsonConsumer support producing and consuming JWS JSON sequences.

 

CXF JWS JSON
JwsJsonProducer producer = new JwsJsonProducer(UNSIGNED_PLAIN_JSON_DOCUMENT);
JwsHeaders headerEntries = new JwsHeaders(SignatureAlgorithm.HS256);
              
producer.signWith(new HmacJwsSignatureProvider(ENCODED_MAC_KEY_1, SignatureAlgorithm.HS256),
                  headerEntries);
producer.signWith(new HmacJwsSignatureProvider(ENCODED_MAC_KEY_2, SignatureAlgorithm.HS256),
                  headerEntries);
assertEquals(DUAL_SIGNED_JWS_JSON_DOCUMENT, producer.getJwsJsonSignedDocument());

JwsJsonConsumer consumer = new JwsJsonConsumer(DUAL_SIGNED_DOCUMENT); 

// Validate both signatures, see below how to validate and produce
JsonWebKeys jwks = readKeySet("jwkSet.txt");
        
List<JwsJsonSignatureEntry> sigEntries = consumer.getSignatureEntries();
assertEquals(2, sigEntries.size());

// 1st signature
String firstKid = (String)sigEntries.get(0).getKeyId();
JsonWebKey firstKey = jwks.getKey(firstKid);
assertTrue(sigEntries.get(0).verifySignatureWith(firstKey));
// 2nd signature
String secondKid = (String)sigEntries.get(1).getKeyId();
JsonWebKey secondKey = jwks.getKey(secondKid);
assertTrue(sigEntries.get(1).verifySignatureWith(secondKey));

// or if you wish to validate (ex with the firstKey loaded above) and forward it to the next consumer, do:
JwsSignatureProvider provider = JwsUtils.getSignatureProvider(firstKey);
String nextJwsJson = consumer.validateAndProduce(Collections.singletonList(provider));
// use WebClient to post nextJwsJson to the next consumer, with nextJwsJson being nearly identical to the original
// double-signed JWS JSON signature, minus the signature which was already validated, in this case nextJwsJson will 
// only have a single signature 

The above code produces a JWS JSON sequence containing two signatures, similarly to this example. If the sequence contains a single signature only then the JWS JSON 'signatures' array will contain a single 'signature' element, or the whole sequence can be flattened instead with the actual 'signatures' array dropped. JwsJsonProducer  does not produce the flattened sequence when only a single signature is used by default because 3rd party JWS JSON consumers may only be able to process the sequences with the 'signatures' array, so pass a 'supportFlattened' flag to JwsJsonProducer if needed. 

Does it make sense to use JWS JSON if you do not plan to do multiple signatures ? Indeed, if it is only a single signature then using JWS Compact is a good alternative, likely to be used most often.

However, even if you do a single signature, you may still want to try JWS JSON because is is easier to observe the individual JWS JSON structure parts when, example, checking the logs or TCP-tracing HTTP requests/responses. This is especially true when we start talking about an unencoded payload option, see below.

JWS with Detached Content

JWS with Detached Content provides a way to integrity-protect some data without actually having these data included in the resulting JWS sequence.

For example, if the producer and consumer can both access the same shared piece of data, then the producer can sign these data, post the JWS sequence (without the data) to the consumer. The consumer will validate this JWS sequence and assert the data have not been modified by the time it has received and started validating the sequence. JWS Compact and JWS JSON Producer and Consumer provider constructors accept an optional 'detached' flag in cases were it is required.      

Note the detached content mode is used to support the signing and verification of CXF multipart attachment parts, see below for more information.

JWS with Unencoded Payload

By default, JWS Compact and JWS JSON sequences have the data first Base64Url encoded and then inlined in the resulting sequence. This is useful especially for JWS Compact which is used in OAuth2/OIDC  flows to represent the signed access or id tokens. 

One concern around the data being inlined is that it takes an extra time to Base64Url encode them which may become noticeable with large payloads, and another one is that one can not see the data while looking at JWS sequences in the logs or trace screens.

Thus a JWS with Unencoded Payload option (JWS header 'b64' property set to false) has been introduced to let users configure JWS Signature providers not to encode the actual data payload, see this example.

Both JWS JSON and JWS Compact support 'b64' property for the detached and embedded payloads.

In CXF you can apply this option to both JWS Compact (embedded payloads - from CXF 3.1.7) and JWS JSON sequences, here is a JWS JSON code fragment:

 

JWS JSON Unencoded
JwsJsonProducer producer = new JwsJsonProducer(UNSIGNED_PLAIN_JSON_DOCUMENT, true);
JwsHeaders headers = new JwsHeaders(SignatureAlgorithm.HS256);
headers.setPayloadEncodingStatus(false);
producer.signWith(new HmacJwsSignatureProvider(ENCODED_MAC_KEY_1, SignatureAlgorithm.HS256),
                  headers);

Note that JWS Compact uses a '.' as a separator between its 3 parts. JWS with Unencoded Payload recommends that it is the application's responsibility to deal with the unencoded payloads which may have '.' characters. Similarly, JWS JSON unencoded payloads with double quotes will need to be taken care of by the application. 

Note the the signing and verification of CXF multipart attachment parts does depend on this unencoded payload feature, see below for more information.

JWE Encryption

JWE (JSON Web Encryption) document describes how a document content, and, when applicable, a content encryption key, can be encrypted. For example, Appendix A1 shows how the content can be encrypted with a secret key using AesGcm with the actual content encryption key being encrypted using RSA-OAEP.

CXF ships JWE related classes in this package and offers a support for all of JWA key encryption and content encryption algorithms.

Key and Content Encryption Providers

JWE Encryption process typically involves a content-encryption key being generated with this key being subsequently encrypted/wrapped with a key known to the consumer. Thus CXF offers the providers for supporting the key-encryption algorithms and providers for supporting the content-encryption algorithms. Direct key encryption (where the content-encryption key is established out of band) is also supported.

KeyEncryptionProvider supports encrypting a content-encryption key, KeyDecryptionProvider - decrypting it.

The following table shows the key encryption algorithms and the corresponding providers (org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.jwe package):

AlgorithmJWE Header 'alg'KeyEncryptionProviderKeyDecryptionProvider
RSAES-PKCS1-v1_5

RSA1_5

RSAKeyEncryptionAlgorithm

RSAKeyDecryptionAlgorithm

RSAES OAEP

RSA-OAEP, RSA-OAEP-256

RSAKeyEncryptionAlgorithmRSAKeyDecryptionAlgorithm
AES Key Wrap

A128KW, A192KW, A256KW

AesKeyWrapEncryptionAlgorithmAesKeyWrapDecryptionAlgorithm
DirectdirDirectKeyEncryptionAlgorithmDirectKeyDecryptionAlgorithm
ECDH-ES Key Wrap

ECDH-ES+A128KW (+A192KW, +256KW)

EcdhAesWrapKeyEncryptionAlgorithmEcdhAesWrapKeyDecryptionAlgorithm
ECDH-ES Direct

ECDH-ES

EcdhDirectKeyJweEncryptionEcdhDirectKeyJweDecryption
AES-GCM Key Wrap

A128GCMKW, A192GCMKW, A256GCMKW

AesGcmWrapKeyEncryptionAlgorithmAesGcmWrapKeyDecryptionAlgorithm
PBES2

PBES2-HS256+A128KW

PBES2-HS384+A192KW

PBES2-HS512+A256KW

PbesHmacAesWrapKeyEncryptionAlgorithmPbesHmacAesWrapKeyDecryptionAlgorithm

 

RSA-OAEP algorithms are likely to be used most often at the moment due to existing JKS stores being available everywhere and a relatively easy way of making the public validation keys available.

BouncyCastle is required if you use AES Key or AES-GCM Key Wrap or PBES2 key encryption.

ContentEncryptionProvider supports encrypting a generated content-encryption key, ContentDecryptionProvider - decrypting it.

The following table shows the content encryption algorithms and the corresponding providers:

AlgorithmJWE Header 'enc'ContentEncryptionProviderContentDecryptionProvider
AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2

A128CBC-HS256(-HS384, -HS512)

AesCbcHmacJweEncryption,

AesCbcHmacJweDecryption

AES-GCM

A128GCM, A92GCM, A256GCM

AesGcmContentEncryptionAlgorithmAesGcmContentDecryptionAlgorithm

All of the above providers can be initialized with the keys loaded from JWK or Java JKS stores or from the in-memory representations.

BouncyCastle is required if you use AES_CBC_HMAC content encryption.

Once you have decided which key and content encryption algorithms need to be supported you can initialize JwsEncryptionProvider and JwsDecryptionProvider which do the actual JWE encryption/decryption work by coordinating with the key and content encryption providers. CXF ships JweEncryption (JwsEncryptionProvider) and JweDecryption (JweDecryptionProvider) helpers, simply pass them the preferred key and content encryption providers and have the content encrypted or decrypted.

JweEncryption and JweDecryption help with creating and processing JWE Compact sequences (see the next section).  JweEncryption can also help with streaming JWE JSON sequences (see JAX-RS JWE filters section).

Note that AesCbcHmacJweEncryption and AesCbcHmacJweDecryption providers supporting AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 contet encryption are extending JweEncryption and JweDecryption respectively. They implement the content encryption internally but do accept preferred key encryption/decryption providers.

Similarly, DirectKeyJweEncryption and DirectKeyJweDecryption are simple JweEncryption and JweDecryption extensions making it straighforward to do the direct key content encryption/decryption.

JweUtils utility class has a lot of helper methods to load key and and content encryption providers and get the data encrypted and decrypted.

JWE Compact

JWE Compact representation is the most often used JWE sequence format. It is the concatenation of 5 parts: Base64URL-encoded sequence of JWE headers (algorithm and other properties),  Base64URL-encoded sequence of JWE encryption key (empty in case of the direct encryption), Base64URL-encoded sequence of JWE Initialization vector, Base64URL-encoded sequence of the produced ciphertext (encrypted data) and finally Base64URL-encoded sequence of the authentication tag (integrity protection for the headers and the ciphertext itself).

JweCompactProducer and JweCompactConsumer offer a basic support for creating and consuming compact JWE sequences. In most cases you will likely prefer to use JweEncryption and JweDecryption instead: JweEncryption uses JweCompactProducer internally when its encrypt method is called (getEncryptedOutput will be discussed in the JAX-RS JWE filters section), and JweDecryption accepts only JWE Compact and uses JweCompactConsumer internally.

JweJwtCompactProducer and JwsJwtCompactConsumer help with directly encrypting typed JWT Tokens.

Here is the example of doing AES Key Wrap and AES CBC HMAC in CXF:

CXF Jwe AesWrapAesCbcHMac
final String specPlainText = "Live long and prosper.";
        
AesWrapKeyEncryptionAlgorithm keyEncryption = new AesWrapKeyEncryptionAlgorithm(KEY_ENCRYPTION_KEY_A3, KeyAlgorithm.A128KW);
JweEncryptionProvider encryption = new AesCbcHmacJweEncryption(ContentAlgorithm.A128CBC_HS256,
                                                               keyEncryption);
String jweContent = encryption.encrypt(specPlainText.getBytes("UTF-8"), null);
        
AesWrapKeyDecryptionAlgorithm keyDecryption = new AesWrapKeyDecryptionAlgorithm(cekEncryptionKey);
JweDecryptionProvider decryption = new AesCbcHmacJweDecryption(keyDecryption);
String decryptedText = decryption.decrypt(jweContent).getContentText();
assertEquals(specPlainText, decryptedText);

 

Here is another example using RSA-OAEP key encryption and AES-GCM content encryption:

CXF Jwe RsaOaepAesGcm
final String content = "Live long and prosper.";
// Load public RSA key from the JWK Key set stored on the disk
InputStream is = JsonWebKeyTest.class.getResourceAsStream(fileName);
JsonWebKeys keySet = JwkUtils.readJwkSet(is);
JsonWebKey jwkPublicRsaKey = keySet.getKey("Public RSA Key");
KeyEncryptionProvider keyEncryptionAlgo = JweUtils.getKeyEncryptionProvider(jwkPublicRsaKey); 
ContentEncryptionProvider contentEncryptionAlgo = JweUtils.getContentEncryptionProvider(ContentAlgorithm.A256GCM);
JweEncryptionProvider encryptor = new JweEncryption(keyEncryptionAlgo, contentEncryptionAlgo);

// or simply
// JweEncryptionProvider encryptor = JweUtils.createJweEncryptionProvider(jwkPublicRsaKey, ContentAlgorithm.A256GCM);

String jweOut = encryptor.encrypt(content.getBytes(StandardCharsets.UTF_8), null); 

// Load Private RSA Key from Java JKS Store
PrivateKey privateRsaKey = 
    CryptoUtils.loadPrivateKey(keyStoreLocation, keyStorePassword, privateKeyPassword, keyAlias, KeyStore.getDefaultType());

JweDecryptionProvider decryptor = JweUtils.createJweDecryptionProvider(jwkPrivateRsaKey, ContentAlgorithm.A256GCM);
String decryptedText = decryption.decrypt(jweContent).getContentText();
assertEquals(content, decryptedText);

JWE JSON

While JWE Compact is optimized and represents a concatenation of 5 Base64URL values, JWE JSON is an open JSON container, see Appendix A4.

The most interesting feature of JWE JSON is that allows a content be encrypted by multiple key encryption keys, with te resulting sequence targeted at multiple recipients. For example,  the immediate consumer will decrypt the content with its own key decryption key, forward the payload to the next consumer, etc.  

JweJsonProducer and JweJsonConsumer support producing and consuming JWS JSON sequences.

Here is the code example:

CXF JweJson
final String text = "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.";
// Create the secret keys for encrypting the content encryption key:
SecretKey wrapperKey1 = CryptoUtils.createSecretKeySpec(WRAPPER_BYTES1, "AES");
SecretKey wrapperKey2 = CryptoUtils.createSecretKeySpec(WRAPPER_BYTES2, "AES");

// Create KeyEncryptionProviders initialized with these secret keys: 
KeyEncryptionProvider keyEncryption1 = JweUtils.getSecretKeyEncryptionAlgorithm(wrapperKey1, KeyAlgorithm.A128KW);
KeyEncryptionProvider keyEncryption2 = JweUtils.getSecretKeyEncryptionAlgorithm(wrapperKey2, KeyAlgorithm.A128KW);

// If you work with the public keys do this instead:
// PublicKey publicKey1 = ...;
// KeyEncryptionProvider keyEncryption1 = JweUtils.getPublicKeyEncryptionProvider(publicKey1, KeyAlgorithm.RSA_AEP);
// PublicKey publicKey2 = ...;
// KeyEncryptionProvider keyEncryption2 = JweUtils.getPublicKeyEncryptionProvider(publicKey2, KeyAlgorithm.RSA_AEP);


// Create ContentEncryptionProvider:
// Starting from CXF 3.1.11:
ContentEncryptionProvider contentEncryption = new AesGcmContentEncryptionAlgorithm(ContentAlgorithm.A128GCM, true);
// or 
// ContentEncryptionProvider contentEncryption = JweUtils.getContentEncryptionProvider(ContentAlgorithm.A128GCM, true);

// Before CXF 3.1.1 a CEK needs to be pre-generated when dealing with multiple recipients:
//ContentEncryptionProvider contentEncryption = new AesGcmContentEncryptionAlgorithm(CEK_BYTES, ContentAlgorithm.A128GCM);

// If a single recipient then this line is enough:
//ContentEncryptionProvider contentEncryption = JweUtils.getContentEncryptionProvider(ContentAlgorithm.A128GCM);

// Prepare JweEncryptionProviders, one per each recipient.
List<JweEncryptionProvider> jweProviders = new LinkedList<JweEncryptionProvider>();
jweProviders.add(new JweEncryption(keyEncryption1, contentEncryption));
jweProviders.add(new JweEncryption(keyEncryption2, contentEncryption));


// Let the recipients know that the key encryption algorithm is A128KW. 
// This step is optional if the recipients support A128KW only.
// Note because these headers are shared A128KW needs to be supported by all the recipients.
// Per-reciepient specific headers can be used instead to note the key encryption algorithm if required.
// One can also consider setting this property in the shared protected headers, same as it is done below
// with the content algorithm

JweHeaders sharedUnprotectedHeaders = new JweHeaders();
sharedUnprotectedHeaders.setKeyEncryptionAlgorithm(KeyAlgorithm.A128KW);
// Set some other custom shared unprotected header
sharedUnprotectedHeaders.setHeader("customHeader", "customValue");

// Let the recipients know that the content encryption algorithm is A128GCM. 
// This step is optional if the recipients support A128GCM only.
JweHeaders protectedHeaders = new JweHeaders(ContentAlgorithm.A128GCM);

// Set per-recipient specific headers        
List<JweHeaders> perRecipientHeades = new LinkedList<JweHeaders>();
perRecipientHeades.add(new JweHeaders("key1"));
perRecipientHeades.add(new JweHeaders("key2"));

JweJsonProducer p = new JweJsonProducer(protectedHeaders,
                                        sharedUnprotectedHeaders,
                                        StringUtils.toBytesUTF8(text),
                                        StringUtils.toBytesUTF8(EXTRA_AAD_SOURCE),
                                        false);
String jweJsonOut = p.encryptWith(jweProviders, perRecipientHeades);

JweJsonConsumer consumer = new JweJsonConsumer(jweJsonOut);
KeyAlgorithm keyAlgo = consumer.getSharedUnprotectedHeader().getKeyEncryptionAlgorithm();
ContentAlgorithm ctAlgo = consumer.getProtectedHeader().getContentEncryptionAlgorithm();

// first recipient:
JweDecryptionProvider jwe1 = JweUtils.createJweDecryptionProvider(wrapperKey1, keyAlgo, ctAlgo);

// the consumer will iterate over JWE entries and will try to find the one which can be decrypted with this decryptor
// or do consumer.getRecipientsMap() returning a list of entries and their metadata to do a more precise selection.

String content = consumer.decryptWith(jwe1, Collections.singletonMap("kid", "key1")).getContent();

// second recipient:
JweDecryptionProvider jwe2 = JweUtils.createJweDecryptionProvider(wrapperKey2, keyAlgo, ctAlgo);
content = consumer.decryptWith(jwe2, Collections.singletonMap("kid", "key2")).getContent();


 

If the sequence contains a single recipient entry only then the JWE JSON 'recipients' array will contain a single entry, or the whole sequence can be flattened instead with the actual 'recipients' array dropped. JweJsonProducer  does not produce the flattened sequence when only a single encryption is done by default because 3rd party JWE JSON consumers may only be able to process the sequences with the 'recipients' array, so pass a 'canBeFlat' flag to JwEJsonProducer if needed

Does it make sense to use JWE JSON if you do not plan to do multiple encryptions ? Most likely you will prefer JWE Compact if only a single recipient is targeted.

JSON Web Token

JWT (JSON Web Token) is a collection of claims in JSON format. It is simply a regular JSON document where each top elevel property is called a 'claim'.

JWT can be JWS signed and/or JWE encrypted like any other data structure.

JWT is mainly used in OAuth2 and OIDC applications to represent self-contained OAuth2 access tokens, OIDC IdToken, UserInfo, but can also be used in other contexts. For example, see the section below on linking JWT authentication tokens to JWS or JWE secured payloads.

CXF offers a JWT support in this package. Typically one would create a set of claims and submit them to JWS/JWE JWT processors, for example, see a JWS section above.

JWS and JWE Combined

If you have a requirement to sign the data and then encrypt the signed payload then it can be easily achieved by selecting a required JWS Producer and creating a JWS Compact sequence, and next submitting this sequence to a JWE producer, and processing it all in the reverse sequence

JOSE JAX-RS Filters

 

While working directly with JWS and JWE providers may be needed in the application code, JAX-RS users writing the code like this:

Typical JAX-RS code
@Path("/bookstore")
public class BookStore {
    
    public BookStore() {
    }
    
    @POST
    @Path("/books")
    @Produces("text/plain")
    @Consumes("text/plain")
    public String echoText(String text) {
        return text;
    }
    
    @POST
    @Path("/books")
    @Produces("application/json")
    @Consumes("application/json")
    public Book echoBook(Book book) {
        return book;
    }
}

would expect JWS and/or JWE processing done before the resource method is invoked or after this method returned some response.

This is what CXF JOSE JAX-RS filters do, they help the client or server code get the application data JWS- or JWE-secured. The filters do it by loadng the configuration properties as described below in the Configuration section, and produce or consume JWS or JWE sequences.

Note, JWS Compact and JSON, as well as JWE Compact client and server output filters can do the best effort at keeping the streaming process going while they are signing or encrypting the payload. JWE JSON client/server output filter and JWS Compact client/server input filters will be enhanced in due time to support the streaming too. Most of CXF JOSE system tests enable the streaming capable filters to stream.  

JWS and JWE JSON input filters are expected to process JSON containers with the properties set in a random order hence by default they wil not stream the data in.  

Register both JWS and JWE out filters if the data need to be signed and encrypted (the filters are ordered such that the data are signed first and encrypted next) and JWS and JWE in filters if the signed data need to be decrypted first and then verified.

JWS

JwsWriterInterceptor creates compact JWS sequences on the client or server out directions. For example, if you have the client code posting a Book or the server code returning a Book, with this Book representation expected to be signed, then add JwsWriterInterceptor and set the signature properties on the JAX-RS client or server.

JwsClientResponseFilter and JwsContainerRequestFilter process the incoming client or server Compact JWS sequences.

Here is an example of a JSON Book representation being HS256 signed and converted into  Compact JWS and POSTed to the target service:

Address: https://localhost:9001/jwsjwkhmac/bookstore/books
Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: application/jose
Payload: 
eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsImN0eSI6Impzb24ifQ.
eyJCb29rIjp7ImlkIjoxMjMsIm5hbWUiOiJib29rIn19.
hg1T41ESuX6JvRR--huTA3HnbrsdIZSwkxQdyWj9j6c

org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.common.JoseUtils traceHeaders
INFO: JWS Headers: 
{"alg":"HS256",
 "cty":"json"}

 

You can see 3 JWS parts (put on separate lines for the better readibility) separated by dots. The 1st part is Base64Url encoded protected headers, next one - Base64Url encoded Book JSON payload, finally - the signature.

Note that the protected headers can be traced by enabling a "jose.debug" contextual property: once can see the signature algorithm is "HS256" and the content type of the signed payload is "json" which is a shorcut for a content type "application/json" where "application" is omitted.

The following client code can be used to set the client JWS Compact interceptors:

Client JWS SetUp
    	public void testJwsJwkBookHMac() throws Exception {
        String address = "https://localhost:" + PORT + "/jwsjwkhmac";
        BookStore bs = createJwsBookStore(address);
        Book book = bs.echoBook(new Book("book", 123L));
        assertEquals("book", book.getName());
        assertEquals(123L, book.getId());
    }
    private BookStore createJwsBookStore(String address, 
                                         List<?> mbProviders) throws Exception {
        JAXRSClientFactoryBean bean = new JAXRSClientFactoryBean();
        bean.setServiceClass(BookStore.class);
        bean.setAddress(address);
        List<Object> providers = new LinkedList<Object>();
        // JWS Compact Out
        JwsWriterInterceptor jwsWriter = new JwsWriterInterceptor();
        // enable streaming 
        jwsWriter.setUseJwsOutputStream(true);
        providers.add(jwsWriter);
        // JWS Compact In
        providers.add(new JwsClientResponseFilter());
        // Book to/from JSON
        providers.add(new JacksonJsonProvider());
        bean.setProviders(providers);
        // point to the JWS security properties
        bean.getProperties(true).put("rs.security.signature.properties", 
            "org/apache/cxf/systest/jaxrs/security/secret.jwk.properties");
        // enable the tracing of JWS headers
        bean.getProperties(true).put("jose.debug", true);
        
        return bean.create(BookStore.class);
    }

The above code shows a client proxy code but WebClient can be created instead. The server is configured here. The client can be configured in Spring/Blueprint too.

Starting from CXF 3.1.7 it is also possible to produce JWS Compact sequences with the unencoded payload (See JWS With Clear Payload above for restrictions).

Here is an example of a plain text "book" being HS256-signed, converted into JWS Compact and POSTed to the target service:

Address: https://localhost:9001/jwsjwkhmac/bookstore/books
Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: application/jose
Payload: eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsImN0eSI6InRleHQvcGxhaW4iLCJiNjQiOmZhbHNlLCJjcml0IjpbImI2NCJdfQ.
         book.
         fM7O2IVO3NsQeTGrFiMeLf_TKTsMSqnqmjnK40PwQ88

Note that a 2nd part, "book", is not Base64Url encoded.

JwsJsonWriterInterceptor creates JWS JSON sequences on the client or server out directions. 

JwsJsonClientResponseFilter and JwsJsonContainerRequestFilter process the incoming client or server Compact JWS sequences.

Here is an example of a plain text "book" being HS256-signed, converted into JWS JSON and POSTed to the target service:

Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: application/jose+json
Payload: 
{
  "payload" : "Ym9vaw",
  "signatures":
   [
     {
       "protected" : "eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsImN0eSI6Impzb24ifQ",
       "signature" : "dRUibW7F6LyXuOc78DHubUIave0QUSvte5iv6xoJaL4"
     }
   ]
}

Note the Base64Url encoded payload goes first, followed by the 'signatures' array, with each element containing the protected headers and the actual signature specific to a given signature key.

Enabling the clear JWS payload option wilkl produce:

{
 "payload" : "book",  
 "signatures": 
   [
      {
       "protected" : "eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsImN0eSI6InRleHQvcGxhaW4iLCJiNjQiOmZhbHNlLCJjcml0IjpbImI2NCJdfQ",
       "signature" : "fM7O2IVO3NsQeTGrFiMeLf_TKTsMSqnqmjnK40PwQ88"
      }
   ]
}

The client code and server configuration is nearly identical to a code/configuration needed to set up JWS Compact filters as shown above, simply replace JwsWriterInterceptor/JwsClientResponseFilter with JwsJsonWriterInterceptor/JwsJsonClientResponseFilter in the client code, and JwsContainerRequestFilter/JwsContainerResponseFilter with JwsJsonContainerRequestFilter/JwsJsonContainerResponseFilter

Signing and Verification of HTTP Attachments

The signing and verification of HTTP request and response attachments is supported starting from CXF 3.1.12.

This feature does not buffer the request and response attachment data and is completely streaming-'friendly'.

Note that in some cases the data may need to be buffered on the receiver end.

It depends on JWS with Detached Content and  JWS with Unencoded Payload options as well as on the newly introduced CXF multipart filters and works as follows.

When request or response attachment parts are about to be submitted to the Multipart serialization provider, JWS Multipart Output Filter (JwsMultipartClientRequestFilter and/or JwsMultipartContainerResponseFilter) initializes a JWSSignature object. Next every parts's output stream is replaced with the filtering output stream which updates the signature object on every write operation. Finally this multipart filter adds one more attachment part to the list of the attachments to be written - this part holds a reference to JWS Signature. When this last part is written, JWSSignature produces the signature bytes which are encoded using either JWS Compact or JWS JSON format, with the detached and unencoded content already being pushed to the output stream.

When the attachment parts are about to be read by the Multipart deserialization provider, their signature carried over in the last part will need to be verified. Just before the parts are about to be read in order to be made available to the application code, JWS Multipart Input Filter (JwsMultipartContainerRequestFilter and/or JwsMultipartClientResponseFilter) checks the last part and initializes a JWSVerificationSignature object. Next for every attachment but the last one it replaces the input stream with the filtering input stream which updates the signature verification object on every read operation. Once all the data have been read it compares the calculated signature with the received signature.

Note when the attachments are accessed by the receiving application code, the read process will fail to complete if the validation fails. For example, if the application code copies a given part's InputStream to the disk then this copy operation will fail. For example:

 

@POST
@Path("/books")
@Consumes("multipart/related")
public void uploadBookMultipart(@Multipart(type = "application/xml") Book book) {
        // This method will not be even invoked if the data signature verification fails 
        // causing the construction of Book bean to fail
}


@POST
@Path("/pdf")
@Consumes("multipart/related")
public void uploadStreamMultipart(@Multipart(type = "application/pdf") InputStream is) {
        OutputStream os = getTargetOutputStream();
        // This copy operation will fail
        IOUtils.copy(is, os); 
}

 

Note that besides the signature verification process, CXF offers some other indirect support for ensuring the attachment data have not been affected. For example, the size of the attachments can be restricted, and if the data stream is converted from XML then the conversion process will be controlled by the secure XML parser. 

However, if the receiver starts acting immediately on the attachment's InputStream, for example, the attachment data returned from the service to the client are streamed to a UI display which can activate a script then it is important that a 'bufferPayload' property is enabled on either JwsMultipartContainerRequestFilter or JwsMultipartClientResponseFilter. It will ensure that the data streams are validated first before the application gets an access to them.

The 'bufferPayload' property may also need be enabled if the multipart payload contains many attachment parts. In this case, if the receiving code is written to consume all the parts in the order different to the one the parts have been ordered in the multipart payload or if the receiver code may optionally skip reading some of the parts, then the 'bufferPayload' property must be enabled.

Here is an example showing how a Book object (represented as an XML attachment on the wire) can be secured.

Given this client code:

@Test
public void testJwsJwkBookHMacMultipart() throws Exception {
    String address = "https://localhost:" + PORT + "/jwsjwkhmacSinglePart";
    BookStore bs = createJwsBookStoreHMac(address, true, false);
    Book book = bs.echoBookMultipart(new Book("book", 123L));
    assertEquals("book", book.getName());
    assertEquals(123L, book.getId());
}
private BookStore createJwsBookStoreHMac(String address, 
                                         boolean supportSinglePart,
                                         boolean useJwsJsonSignatureFormat) throws Exception {
     JAXRSClientFactoryBean bean = createJAXRSClientFactoryBean(address, supportSinglePart, 
                                                                   useJwsJsonSignatureFormat);
     bean.getProperties(true).put("rs.security.signature.properties",
         "org/apache/cxf/systest/jaxrs/security/secret.jwk.properties");

     bean.setServiceClass(BookStore.class);
     bean.setAddress(address);
     List<Object> providers = new LinkedList<Object>();
     JwsMultipartClientRequestFilter outFilter = new JwsMultipartClientRequestFilter();
     outFilter.setSupportSinglePartOnly(supportSinglePart);
     outFilter.setUseJwsJsonSignatureFormat(useJwsJsonSignatureFormat);
     providers.add(outFilter);
     JwsMultipartClientResponseFilter inFilter = new JwsMultipartClientResponseFilter();
     inFilter.setSupportSinglePartOnly(supportSinglePart);
     providers.add(inFilter);
     providers.add(new JwsDetachedSignatureProvider());
     bean.setProviders(providers);
     return bean.create(BookStore.class);
}

and the relevant server code:

@Path("/bookstore")
public class BookStore {
    
    @POST
    @Path("/books")
    @Produces("multipart/related")
    @Consumes("multipart/related")
    @Multipart(type = "application/xml")
    public Book echoBookMultipart(@Multipart(type = "application/xml") Book book) {
        // This method will not be even invoked if the data signature verification fails 
        return book;
    }
}

and server configuration:

<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans" xmlns:jaxrs="http://cxf.apache.org/jaxrs">
    <bean id="serviceBean" class="org.apache.cxf.systest.jaxrs.security.jose.BookStore"/>
    <bean id="jwsInMultipartFilter" class="org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.jaxrs.multipart.JwsMultipartContainerRequestFilter"/>
    <bean id="jwsOutMultipartFilter" class="org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.jaxrs.multipart.JwsMultipartContainerResponseFilter"/>
    <bean id="jwsDetachedSignatureWriter" class="org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.jaxrs.JwsDetachedSignatureProvider"/>
    <jaxrs:server address="https://localhost:${testutil.ports.jaxrs-jws-multipart}/jwsjwkhmacSinglePart">
        <jaxrs:serviceBeans>
            <ref bean="serviceBean"/>
        </jaxrs:serviceBeans>
        <jaxrs:providers>
            <ref bean="jwsInMultipartFilter"/>
            <ref bean="jwsOutMultipartFilter"/>
            <ref bean="jwsDetachedSignatureWriter"/>
        </jaxrs:providers>
        <jaxrs:properties>
            <entry key="rs.security.signature.properties" value="org/apache/cxf/systest/jaxrs/security/secret.jwk.properties"/>
        </jaxrs:properties>
    </jaxrs:server>
</beans

the following request is produced on the wire:

ID: 1
Address: https://localhost:9001/jwsjwkhmacSinglePart/bookstore/books
Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: multipart/related; type="application/xml"; boundary="uuid:35b4dd32-470d-4f27-b3c2-2c194f924770"; start="<root.message@cxf.apache.org>"
Headers: {Accept=[multipart/related], Connection=[Keep-Alive]}
Payload: 
--uuid:35b4dd32-470d-4f27-b3c2-2c194f924770
Content-Type: application/xml
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
Content-ID: <root.message@cxf.apache.org>

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?><Book><id>123</id><name>book</name></Book>
--uuid:35b4dd32-470d-4f27-b3c2-2c194f924770
Content-Type: application/jose
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
Content-ID: <signature>

eyJiNjQiOmZhbHNlLCJjcml0IjpbImI2NCJdLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9..LWMjPoronjdGmJFAAIuCc_qh9sI2i5Jc2onBd-fHdMM
--uuid:35b4dd32-470d-4f27-b3c2-2c194f924770--

with the response being formated identically.

Enabling a JWS JSON format will produce a flattened JWS JSON signature in the last part:

ID: 1
Address: https://localhost:9001/jwsjwkhmacSinglePartJwsJson/bookstore/books
Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: multipart/related; type="application/xml"; boundary="uuid:75b37fab-1745-45b7-93ac-15aa9add9b25"; start="<root.message@cxf.apache.org>"
Headers: {Accept=[multipart/related], Connection=[Keep-Alive]}
Payload: 
--uuid:75b37fab-1745-45b7-93ac-15aa9add9b25
Content-Type: application/xml
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
Content-ID: <root.message@cxf.apache.org>

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?><Book><id>123</id><name>book</name></Book>
--uuid:75b37fab-1745-45b7-93ac-15aa9add9b25
Content-Type: application/jose
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
Content-ID: <signature>

{"protected":"eyJiNjQiOmZhbHNlLCJjcml0IjpbImI2NCJdLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9","signature":"LWMjPoronjdGmJFAAIuCc_qh9sI2i5Jc2onBd-fHdMM"}
--uuid:75b37fab-1745-45b7-93ac-15aa9add9b25--

JWE

JweWriterInterceptor creates Compact JWE sequences on the client or server out directions. For example, if you have the client code posting a Book or the server code returning a Book, with this Book representation expected to be encrypted, then add JweWriterInterceptor and set the encryption properties on the JAX-RS client or server.

JweClientResponseFilter and JweContainerRequestFilter process the incoming client or server Compact JWE sequences.

Here is an example of a plain text "book" being encrypted with the A128KW key and A128GCM content encryption (see JWE section above), converted into Compact JWE and POSTed to the target service:

Address: https://localhost:9001/jwejwkaeswrap/bookstore/books
Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: application/jose
Payload: 
eyJhbGciOiJBMTI4S1ciLCJlbmMiOiJBMTI4R0NNIiwiY3R5IjoidGV4dC9wbGFpbiJ9.
SQul1USvHmADDLpBvY2Dnqk5GpoowOkJ.
cFuCSzRsl6GZuvHL.
akVT5g.
i8rpTk-v0b1IyE1sVT1IOA

org.apache.cxf.rs.security.jose.common.JoseUtils traceHeaders
INFO: JWE Headers: 
{"alg":"A128KW",
 "enc":"A128GCM",
 "cty":"text/plain"}

You can see 5 JWE parts (put on separate lines for the better readibility) separated by dots. The 1st part is Base64Url encoded protected headers, next one - Base64Url encoded content encryption key, next one - Base64Url encoded IV, next one - Base64Url encoded ciphertext, finally - the authentication tag.

Note that the protected headers can be traced by enabling a "jose.debug" contextual property: once can see the key encryption algorithm is "A128KW", content encryption algorithm is "A128GCM" and the content type of the encrypted payload is "text/plain".

The following client code can be used to set the client JWE Compact interceptors:

Client JWE SetUp
    public void testJweJwkAesWrap() throws Exception {
        String address = "https://localhost:" + PORT + "/jwejwkaeswrap";
        JAXRSClientFactoryBean bean = new JAXRSClientFactoryBean();
        bean.setServiceClass(BookStore.class);
        bean.setAddress(address);
        List<Object> providers = new LinkedList<Object>();
        JweWriterInterceptor jweWriter = new JweWriterInterceptor();
        jweWriter.setUseJweOutputStream(true);
        providers.add(jweWriter);
        providers.add(new JweClientResponseFilter());
        bean.setProviders(providers);
        bean.getProperties(true).put("rs.security.encryption.properties",
                                     "org/apache/cxf/systest/jaxrs/security/secret.jwk.properties");
        bean.getProperties(true).put("jose.debug", true);
        BookStore bs = bean.create(BookStore.class);
        String text = bs.echoText("book");
        assertEquals("book", text);
    }

The above code shows a client proxy code but WebClient can be created instead. The server is configured here. The client can be configured in Spring/Blueprint too.

JweJsonWriterInterceptor creates JWE JSON sequences on the client or server out directions. 

JweJsonClientResponseFilter and JweContainerRequestFilter process the incoming client or server JWE JSON sequences.

Here is the same example for encrypting "book" but with JWS JSON interceptors:

Address: https://localhost:9001/jwejsonhmac/bookstore/books
Http-Method: POST
Content-Type: application/jose+json
Payload: 
{
  "protected" : "eyJlbmMiOiJBMTI4R0NNIiwiY3R5IjoidGV4dC9wbGFpbiIsImFsZyI6IkExMjhLVyJ9",
  "recipients":
   [
     {
       "encrypted_key": "iq1vJBpOHKRkMDoY2GTakWE6M_uPGVsh"
     }
   ],
   "iv":"SUpOEf-7Q1tT0JV_",
   "ciphertext":"alKm_g",
   "tag":"DkW2pZCd7lhR0KqIGQ69-A"
}

Note the Base64Url encoded protected headers go first, followed by the 'recipients' array, with each element containing the encrypted content encryption key which can be decrypted by the recipient private key, with the array of recipients followed by the IV, ciphertext and authentication tag Base64Url sequences.

Linking JWT authentications to JWS or JWE content

CXF introduced a "JWT" HTTP authentication scheme, with a Base64Url encoded JWT token representing a user authentication against an IDP capable of issuing JWT assertions (or simply JWT tokens). JWT assertion is like SAML assertion except that it is in a JSON format. If you'd like to cryptographically bind this JWT token to a data secured by JWS and/or JWE processors then simply add JwtAuthenticationClientFilteron the client side and JwtAuthenticationFilter on the server side. These filters link the authentication token with a randomly generated secure value which is added to both the token and the body JWS/JWE protected headers.

This approach is more effective compared to the ones where the body hash is calculated before it is submitted to a signature creation function, with the signature added as HTTP header.

Optional protection of HTTP headers

Starting from CXF 3.1.12 it is possible to use JWS, JWS JSON, JWE and JWE JSON filters to protect the selected set of HTTP headers. The JOSE payloads produced by these filters guarantee that the JOSE headers are integrity protected. Given this, if one enables a 'protectHttpHeaders' boolean property on the request filters, then, by default, HTTP Content-Type and Accept header values will be registered as JOSE header properties prefixed with "http.", example, "http.Accept":"text/plain". The list of the headers to be protected can be customized using a 'protectedHttpHeaders' set property.

These properties will be compared against the current HTTP headers on the receiving end.

This approach does not prevent the streaming of the outgoing data (which will also be protected by the filters) and offers a way to secure the HTTP headers which are really important for the correct processing of the incoming payloads

Configuration

CXF JOSE configuration provides for loading JWS and JWE keys and supporting various processing options. Configuration properties can be shared between JWS and JWE processors or in/out only JWS and or JWE properties can be set.

Typically a secure JAX-RS endpoint or client is initialized with JWS and or JWE properties.

For example, this endpoint is configured with a single JWS properties file which will apply to both input (signature verification) and output (signature creation) JWS operations. This endpoint depends on two JWS properties files, one - for input JWS, another one - for output JWS. Similarly, this endpoint uses a single JWE properties file for encrypting/decrypting the data, while this endpoint uses two JWE properties files. This endpoint support both JWS and JSON with in/out specific properties. If either JWS or JWE private key needs to be loaded from the password-protected storage (JKS, encryped JWK)  then a password provider needs be registered as well, it can be shared between JWS or JWS or be in/out specific for either JWS or JWE.

These configuration propertie are of major help when JAX-RS JOSE filters process the in/out payload without the application service code being aware of it. While filters can be injected with JWS or JWE providers directly, one would usually set the relevant properties as part of the endpoint or client set-up and expect the filters load the required JWS or JWE providers as needed. 

If you need to do JWS or JWE processing directly in your service or interceptor code then having the properties may also be helpful, for example, the following code works because it is indirectly supported by the properties indicating which signature or encryption algorithm is used, where to get the key if needed, etc:

Loading JWS and JWE Providers
JwsSignatureProvider jwsOut = JwsUtils.loadSignatureProvider(true);
JwsSignatureVerifier jwsIn = JwsUtils.loadSignatureVerifier(true);

JweEncryptionProvider jweOut = JweUtils.loadEncryptionProvider(true);
JweDecryptionProvider jweIn = JweUtils.loadDecryptionProvider(true);

The providers may be initialized from a single properties file or each of them may have specific properties allocated to it.

Sometimes it can be useful to load the properties only and check the signature or encryption algorithm and load a JWS or JWE provider directly as shown in JWS and JWE sections above.

Loading JWS and JWE properties
Properties jwsProps = JweUtils.loadEncryptionProperties("jws.properties", true);
Properties jweProps = JweUtils.loadEncryptionProperties("jwe.properties", true);

After loading the properties one can check various property values (signature algorithm, etc) and use it to create a required provider.

The above code needs to be executed in the context of the current request (in server or client in/out interceptors or server service code) as it expects the current CXF Message be available in order to deduce where to load the configuration properties from. However JwsUtils and JweUtils provide a number of utility methods for loading the providers without loading the properties first which can be used when setting up the client code or when no properties are available in the current request context.

 

When the code needs to load the configuration properties it first looks for the property 'container' file which contains the specific properties instructing which keys and algorithms need to be used. Singature or encryption properties for in/out operations can be provided.  

Configuration Property Containers

Signature

rs.security.signature.out.properties

The signature properties file for Compact or JSON signature creation. If not specified then it falls back to "rs.security.signature.properties".

rs.security.signature.in.properties

The signature properties file for Compact or JSON signature verification. If not specified then it falls back to "rs.security.signature.properties".

rs.security.signature.propertiesThe signature properties file for Compact or JSON signature creation/verification.

Encryption

rs.security.encryption.out.properties

The encryption properties file for Compact or JSON encryption creation. If not specified then it falls back to "rs.security.encryption.properties".

rs.security.encryption.in.properties

The encryption properties file for Compact or JSON decryption. If not specified then it falls back to "rs.security.encryption.properties".

rs.security.encryption.propertiesThe signature properties file for encryption/decryption.

Note that these property containers can be used for creating/processing JWS and JWE Compact and JSON sequences. If it is either JWS JSON or JWE JSON and you wish to have more than one signature or encryption be created then let the property value be a commas separated list of locations, with each location pointing to a unique signature or encryption operation property file.

Once the properties are loaded the runtime proceeds with initializing JWS/JWE providers accordingly. The following section lists the properties, some oif them being common and some - unique to the signature/verification and encryption/decryption processes.

Note that one can override some of the properties, for example, 'rs.security.store' can be set as a dynamic request property pointing to a preloaded Java KeyStore object.

Configuration that applies to both encryption and signature

rs.security.keystoreThe Java KeyStore Object to use. This configuration tag is used if you want to pass the KeyStore Object through dynamically.

rs.security.keystore.type

The keystore type. Suitable values are "jks" or "jwk".

rs.security.keystore.passwordThe password required to access the keystore.
rs.security.keystore.alias The keystore alias corresponding to the key to use. You can append one of the following to this tag to get the alias for more specific operations:
     - jwe.out
     - jwe.in
     - jws.out
     - jws.in
rs.security.keystore.aliasesThe keystore aliases corresponding to the keys to use, when using the JSON serialization form. You can append one of the following to this tag to get the alias for more specific operations:
     - jws.out
     - jws.in
rs.security.keystore.fileThe path to the keystore file.
rs.security.key.passwordThe password required to access the private key (in the keystore).
rs.security.key.password.providerA reference to a PrivateKeyPasswordProvider instance used to retrieve passwords to access keys.
rs.security.accept.public.key

Whether to allow using a JWK received in the header for signature validation. The default is "false".

Configuration that applies to signature only

rs.security.signature.key.password.provider

A reference to a PrivateKeyPasswordProvider instance used to retrieve passwords to access keys for signature. If this is not specified it falls back to use "rs.security.key.password.provider".

rs.security.signature.algorithmThe signature algorithm to use. The default algorithm if not specified is 'RS256'.
rs.security.signature.include.public.keyInclude the JWK public key for signature in the "jwk" header.
rs.security.signature.include.certInclude the X.509 certificate for signature in the "x5c" header.
rs.security.signature.include.key.idInclude the JWK key id for signature in the "kid" header.
rs.security.signature.include.cert.sha1Include the X.509 certificate SHA-1 digest for signature in the "x5t" header.

Configuration that applies to encryption only

rs.security.decryption.key.password.provider

A reference to a PrivateKeyPasswordProvider instance used to retrieve passwords to access keys for decryption. If this is not specified it falls back to use "rs.security.key.password.provider".

rs.security.encryption.content.algorithmThe encryption content algorithm to use. The default algorithm if not specified is 'A128GCM'.
rs.security.encryption.key.algorithm

The encryption key algorithm to use. The default algorithm if not specified is 'RSA-OAEP' if the key is an RSA key, and 'A128GCMKW' if it is an octet sequence.

rs.security.encryption.zip.algorithmThe encryption zip algorithm to use.
rs.security.encryption.include.public.keyInclude the JWK public key for encryption in the "jwk" header.
rs.security.encryption.include.certInclude the X.509 certificate for encryption in the "x5c" header.
rs.security.encryption.include.key.idInclude the JWK key id for encryption in the "kid" header.
rs.security.encryption.include.cert.sha1Include the X.509 certificate SHA-1 digest for encryption in the "x5t" header.

Configuration that applies to JWT tokens only

rs.security.enable.unsigned-jwt.principal

Whether to allow unsigned JWT tokens as SecurityContext Principals. The default is false.

Interoperability

 

JOSE is already widely supported in OAuth2 and OIDC applications. Besides that CXF JOSE client or server will interoperate with a 3rd party client/server able to produce or consume JWS/JWE sequences.  For example, see a WebCrypto API use case and  the demo which demonstrates how a JWS sequence produced by a browser-hosted script can be validated by a server application capable of processing JWS, with the demo browser client being tested against a CXF JWS server too. 

 

Third-Party Libraries

Jose4J

Nimbus JOSE