Show HN: Prefixed, dual-token, base58 encoded API Keys

 1 year ago
source link: https://github.com/seamapi/prefixed-api-key
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Prefixed API Key (Seam-style)

Example key: mycompany_BRTRKFsL_51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG

Seam-style API Keys have many advantages:

  • Double clicking the api key selects the entire api key
  • The alphabet is standard across languages thanks to the base58 RFC and its usage in cryptocurrencies
  • They are shorter than hex and base32 api keys
  • They have prefixes allowing secret scanning by github
  • They have a hashed component so the server doesn't need to store the api key (reducing attack surface)
  • They have unhashed short tokens which can be mutually used by the server and key bearer/customer to identify the api key
  • They default to roughly the same number of entropy bits as UUIDv4

The Format

Seam-style api keys look like this:


Let's break down each component of the API key...

mycompany ..._...  BRTRKFsL ..._...  51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG
^                  ^                 ^
Prefix             Short Token       Long Token
  • The Prefix is used to identify the company or service creating the API Key. This is very helpful in secret scanning.
  • The Short Token is stored by both the server and the key bearer/customer, it can be used to identify an API key in logs or displayed on a customer's dashboard. A token can be blocklisted by its short token.
  • The Long Token is how we authenticate this key. The long token is never stored on the server, but a hash of it is stored on the server. When we receive an incoming request, we search our database for short_token and hash(long_token).

Getting Started

import { generateAPIKey } from "prefixed-api-key"

const key = await generateAPIKey()

// Store the key.longTokenHash and key.shortToken in your database and give
// api.token to your customer.

  shortToken: 'BRTRKFsL',
  longToken: '51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG',
  longTokenHash: 'd70d981d87b449c107327c2a2afbf00d4b58070d6ba571aac35d7ea3e7c79f37',
  token: 'mycompany_BRTRKFsL_51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG'

Utility Methods

import {
} from "prefixed-api-key"

// "d70d981d87b449c107327c2a2afbf00d4b58070d6ba571aac35d7ea3e7c79f37"

// "51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG"


  shortToken: 'BRTRKFsL',
  longToken: '51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG',
  longTokenHash: 'd70d981d87b449c107327c2a2afbf00d4b58070d6ba571aac35d7ea3e7c79f37',
  token: 'mycompany_BRTRKFsL_51FwqftsmMDHHbJAMEXXHCgG'

await checkAPIKey(
// true

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