JSON Web Token (JWT)

JSON Web Token is an Internet standard for creating data with optional signature and/or optional encryption whose payload holds JSON that asserts some number of claims. The tokens are signed either using a private secret or a public/private key. For example, a server could generate a token that has the claim "logged in as admin" and provide that to a client. The client could then use that token to prove that it is logged in as admin. The tokens can be signed by one party's private key (usually the server's) so that party can subsequently verify the token is legitimate. If the other party, by some suitable and trustworthy means, is in possession of the corresponding public key, they too are able to verify the token's legitimacy. The tokens are designed to be compact, URL-safe, and usable especially in a web-browser single-sign-on (SSO) context. JWT claims can typically be used to pass identity of authenticated users between an identity provider and a service provider, or any other type of claims as required by business processes.[1]


JWT is comprised of 3 parts:

  • header
  • payload
  • signature


Sample header:

 "alg" : "HS256",
 "typ" : "JWT"

Identifies which algorithm is used to generate the signature. HS256 indicates that this token is signed using HMAC-SHA256.


Sample payload:

 "loggedInAs" : "admin",
 "iat" : 1422779638

Contains a set of claims. The JWT specification defines seven Registered Claim Names which are the standard fields commonly included in tokens. Custom claims are usually also included, depending on the purpose of the token.

This example has the standard Issued At Time claim (iat) and a custom claim (loggedInAs).


Signature calculation:

 base64urlEncoding(header) + '.' +

Securely validates the token. The signature is calculated by encoding the header and payload using Base64url Encoding and concatenating the two together with a period separator. That string is then run through the cryptographic algorithm specified in the header, in this case HMAC-SHA256. The Base64url Encoding is similar to base64, but uses different non-alphanumeric characters and omits padding.


The above data and the secret of "secretkey" creates the token:



Decode operations unpacks the token into 3 parts; and validates the signature if a secret is provided.

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JSON_Web_Token

Choose from 107 ops
Latest ops 0
Favorite ops 0