ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity 2.0.1

.NET Framework 4.5
dotnet add package ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity --version 2.0.1
NuGet\Install-Package ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity -Version 2.0.1
This command is intended to be used within the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, as it uses the NuGet module's version of Install-Package.
<PackageReference Include="ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity" Version="2.0.1" />
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity --version 2.0.1
#r "nuget: ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity, 2.0.1"
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive, C# scripting and .NET Interactive. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity&version=2.0.1

// Install ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity&version=2.0.1

This document is maintained in GitHub under this link: https://github.com/ArtOfIntelligence/WebApiSecurity/blob/master/README.md

WebApiSecurity

For ASP.NET Web API 2

Goal

Secure calls to ASP.NET Web API 2 controllers, using expiring tokens over HTTP Authorization request header.

Contact me here.

Content

Introduction

This is an advanced implementation of the Authentication Filter\Attribute and Authorization Attribute. By plugging this library into your ASP.NET Web API 2 server project you can easily control:

  1. Authenticating API clients using tokens, and,
  2. Authorizing API methods execution based on user Roles.

The library uses a stateless mechanism, so no session variables needed on the server at all.

The library uses AES 256 bit encryption our other library ArtOfIntelligence.Cryptography, yet you can trace and change this to any engine with some effort.

Additionally, if your API client is .NET based, you may use the wrapped client classes to speed up the authentication and authorization process.

How Does It Work?

After implementing this library into your project it should behave as following:

  1. Server: Application start and configuration is passed to library (explained below)
  2. Client: request a valid Token:
    • Client requests a Challenge using provided ClientId
    • Server provide an encrypted Challenge string
    • Client decrypts Challenge and generates a Soluion
    • Client send Solution to server and asks for a valid Token
  3. Client: makes a call to any target method in any controller on your server with Authentication and Authorization attributes, and passes the HTTP Authorization request header (using Token data as credentials)
  4. Server: Passes the request to Authentication filter:
    • If Token is valid, filters allows request
    • If Token is invalid or expired, server terminates request and sends (401 unauthorized)
  5. Server: If target method (or its controller) implements Authorization attribute with role(s), it will pass the request to the attribute to verify that client is authorized under that role:
    • If authorized, request is delivered to target method for execution
    • If not authorized, server terminates request and sends (401 unauthorized)

Contribution Needed: A clean flowchart explaining the above.

Getting Started

I estimate around 2 hours to implement this library if prerequisites are met. And trust me, this is way faster than the 6 days it took me to learn, build and debug.

Prerequisites

  1. ASP.NET Web API 2 project
  2. A list of client entities (records) in your database for example, with the following fields:
    • Client Id string (eg: User001, ABC-123, 545A52B2E)
    • Client Secret string (32 characters - 256 bit) (eg: VtsdVxTj8LERXBzByKd178R8Af0rFyV5)
    • Roles string array (eg: ["Administrators", "Operators"])
  3. Good understanding of your .NET language (eg: VB.NET/C#)
  4. LINQ would also help

Installation

ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity library for .NET is available on NuGet:

Install-Package ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity

NuGet Link: https://www.nuget.org/packages/ArtOfIntelligence.WebApiSecurity/

Usage

Server Preparation

Step Purpose
1. Server Configuration Provide security and authentication settings to library
2. Create Authentication Controller Expose authentication methods vie Web API
3. Apply Authentication Filter Attribute(s) Forcing authentication on your API controllers
4. Apply Authorization Attribute(s) Forcing authorization on your API controllers and/or methods

Client Authentication & Calls

For the API client to get authenticated and be able to make calls, a number of steps need to be executed. They are explained in the table below, but before you get scared and run away, I have encapsulated the client functionality in this library, so if your client app is built with .NET you will need to add just 2 lines of code.

Contribution Needed: Encapsulating client functionality in other languages (I will work on JavaScript/TypeScript version soon, but if you can you are welcome).

Step Purpose
1. Request Challenge Get a challenge from server to begin authentication
2. Decrypt Challenge Provide solution to challenge and request token (Using AES encryption)
3. Request Token Receive token to use with API calls
4. Make API Calls Use server functions 😃
Using Library in .NET Client Application

If your client is built with .NET, you will proceed as following:

Step Purpose
1. Client Configuration Provide security, authentication and server URL and other settings to library
2. Add Authorization Header to Requests Provide your credentials to API server

Dependencies

Nuget takes care of adding library dependencies. The following libraries are required:

  • ArtOfIntelligence.Cryptography (for AES Encryption)
  • ArtOfIntelligence.Util (few Helpers)
  • Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi
  • Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Client
  • Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Core
  • Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.WebHost
  • Newtonsoft.Json (for Serialization)
  • System.Web.Http.Common

Contribution

  • This is the first time I publish open source since 1999 on planet-source-code.com, I just learned the basics of contributing to NuGet and GitHub, help me make this better
  • This library is fully functioning for my needs, yet there are a lot of areas in which you can help in, if you are interested please contact me

Contact

I created an issue here: "General Discussions". (I hope that's the write way to do it in GitHub).

Next (Future features)

  • Create JavaScript/TypeScript client library to encapsulate authentication process
  • Compose a more detailed documentation with examples for this library (if I see any demand as you can imagine how time consuming this is)

Contribution is welcome, really....

Author

Jack Alexander (Taher) Business Solution Architect @ Art of Intelligence - Dubai

License

This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE.md file for details

Acknowledgments

  • We are standing on the shoulders of giants.

References

Microsoft's example Authentication Filters in ASP.NET Web API 2 (docs.microsoft.com)

Understand the basics of HTTP authentication The general HTTP authentication framework (developer.mozilla.org)

Product Versions
.NET Framework net45 net451 net452 net46 net461 net462 net463 net47 net471 net472 net48
Compatible target framework(s)
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NuGet packages

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GitHub repositories

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Version Downloads Last updated
2.0.1 996 6/19/2018
0.5.5 825 6/18/2018

Initial Release