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JWA implementation (supports all JWS algorithms)


Version published
Weekly downloads
decreased by-11.3%

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node-jwa Build Status

A JSON Web Algorithms implementation focusing (exclusively, at this point) on the algorithms necessary for JSON Web Signatures.

This library supports all of the required, recommended and optional cryptographic algorithms for JWS:

alg Parameter ValueDigital Signature or MAC Algorithm
HS256HMAC using SHA-256 hash algorithm
HS384HMAC using SHA-384 hash algorithm
HS512HMAC using SHA-512 hash algorithm
RS256RSASSA using SHA-256 hash algorithm
RS384RSASSA using SHA-384 hash algorithm
RS512RSASSA using SHA-512 hash algorithm
PS256RSASSA-PSS using SHA-256 hash algorithm
PS384RSASSA-PSS using SHA-384 hash algorithm
PS512RSASSA-PSS using SHA-512 hash algorithm
ES256ECDSA using P-256 curve and SHA-256 hash algorithm
ES384ECDSA using P-384 curve and SHA-384 hash algorithm
ES512ECDSA using P-521 curve and SHA-512 hash algorithm
noneNo digital signature or MAC value included

Please note that PS* only works on Node 6.12+ (excluding 7.x).


In order to run the tests, a recent version of OpenSSL is required. The version that comes with OS X (OpenSSL 0.9.8r 8 Feb 2011) is not recent enough, as it does not fully support ECDSA keys. You'll need to use a version > 1.0.0; I tested with OpenSSL 1.0.1c 10 May 2012.


To run the tests, do

$ npm test

This will generate a bunch of keypairs to use in testing. If you want to generate new keypairs, do make clean before running npm test again.


I spawn openssl dgst -sign to test OpenSSL sign → JS verify and openssl dgst -verify to test JS sign → OpenSSL verify for each of the RSA and ECDSA algorithms.



Creates a new jwa object with sign and verify methods for the algorithm. Valid values for algorithm can be found in the table above ('HS256', 'HS384', etc) and are case-sensitive. Passing an invalid algorithm value will throw a TypeError.

jwa#sign(input, secretOrPrivateKey)

Sign some input with either a secret for HMAC algorithms, or a private key for RSA and ECDSA algorithms.

If input is not already a string or buffer, JSON.stringify will be called on it to attempt to coerce it.

For the HMAC algorithm, secretOrPrivateKey should be a string or a buffer. For ECDSA and RSA, the value should be a string representing a PEM encoded private key.

Output base64url formatted. This is for convenience as JWS expects the signature in this format. If your application needs the output in a different format, please open an issue. In the meantime, you can use brianloveswords/base64url to decode the signature.

As of nodejs v0.11.8, SPKAC support was introduce. If your nodeJs version satisfies, then you can pass an object { key: '..', passphrase: '...' }

jwa#verify(input, signature, secretOrPublicKey)

Verify a signature. Returns true or false.

signature should be a base64url encoded string.

For the HMAC algorithm, secretOrPublicKey should be a string or a buffer. For ECDSA and RSA, the value should be a string represented a PEM encoded public key.



const jwa = require('jwa'); const hmac = jwa('HS256'); const input = 'super important stuff'; const secret = 'shhhhhh'; const signature = hmac.sign(input, secret); hmac.verify(input, signature, secret) // === true hmac.verify(input, signature, 'trickery!') // === false

With keys

const fs = require('fs'); const jwa = require('jwa'); const privateKey = fs.readFileSync(__dirname + '/ecdsa-p521-private.pem'); const publicKey = fs.readFileSync(__dirname + '/ecdsa-p521-public.pem'); const ecdsa = jwa('ES512'); const input = 'very important stuff'; const signature = ecdsa.sign(input, privateKey); ecdsa.verify(input, signature, publicKey) // === true



Copyright (c) 2013 Brian J. Brennan Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.



What is jwa?

JWA implementation (supports all JWS algorithms)

Is jwa popular?

The npm package jwa receives a total of 11,187,913 weekly downloads. As such, jwa popularity was classified as popular.

Is jwa well maintained?

We found that jwa demonstrated a not healthy version release cadence and project activity because the last version was released a year ago.It has 3 open source maintainers collaborating on the project.

Last updated on 15 Dec 2019

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