I’ve been wanting to secure my api – so unidentified and unathorized parties cannot view, update, create or delete data.
This api is internal to the company and will only be used by other services – in other words no end users.
Hence the delegation of authorization need not happen and the services will be authneticating directly with the api.
That is why the Oauth client credentials flow is used – it is for server to server communication. (As far as I know)
There is alot of conflicting information on Oauth but in the RFC6749 on Oauth 2 Client credentials is mentioned:
1.3.4. Client Credentials The client credentials (or other forms of client authentication) can be used as an authorization grant when the authorization scope is limited to the protected resources under the control of the client, or to protected resources previously arranged with the authorization server. Client credentials are used as an authorization grant typically when the client is acting on its own behalf (the client is also the resource owner) or is requesting access to protected resources based on an authorization previously arranged with the authorization server.
Nordic API’s: Securing the API Stronghold book mentions:
Oauth: It’s for delegation, and delegation only
I agree except when the client is the resource owner in the client credentials instance.
In that case surely there is no delegation?
Should we use it
What is the advantage over a basic auth or token authentication method?
It seems to just be an added step for the client but the key is that the token expires. So if a bad actor gets our token it will not last long before it is of no use.
The client id and secret is the thing that is used to generate tokend for future calling of the api.
Difference between Resource Owner Password Based flow and client Credentials
Django-oauth-tollkit provides both and their example uses the resource owner password based flow.
In both cases the resource owner is the client – so there is no delegation.
So what is the difference?
I checked on stackoverflow, and it turns out I was wrong.
In the resource owner client based way, the resource owner (end user) trusts the client application enough to give it it’s username and password.
We don’t really want this.
Implementing Client Credentials flow
Since users are not going to use the API and only services/clients will, I want to disable the other authorization flows and disable registering of clients.
I will manage the clients and they will be the resource owners.
So if you follow the information in the django-oauth-toolkit and setting it up for client credentials that should help
Permissions are significantly different from Django Permissions
What I found out durinng testing is that OauthToolkit implements it’s own seperate permissions. So if you were wanting to use django model permissions (
delete), you don’t be able to.
Wait…I spoke too fast.
You can allow this with:
permission_classes = [IsAuthenticatedOrTokenHasScope, DjangoModelPermission]
However that means that you actually have to test with scopes if you expect a client to use it with Oauth and not django auth.
This is the view to use ClientProtectedResourceView