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A stateless API proxy

Project description

Magic API Proxy

This is a stateless API proxy that allows creation and use of access-limited API tokens.

Basically, it's identity and access management for API tokens.

Why is this useful?

GitHub's API tokens (or other APIs, like DigitalOcean's) do not allow fine-grained control over which actions a token can perform (see this Dear GitHub issue). For example, you basically have to create a token that has full control over a repository to allow a token to just apply labels to issues.

This can be problematic. When you have many jobs, processes, and/or bots interacting with the GitHub API you increase the likelihood that a token could be compromised and tokens with broad permissions have very high consequences.

This proxy allows you to create API tokens with fine-grained permissions (a magic token) and then talk to an API using those magic tokens through a proxy. The proxy validates the magic token is allows to perform the requested action and then forwards the request to the API using the real API token.

What does stateless mean?

This proxy requires no backing storage and stores all of its state in the magic token itself. Although the plugin system permits to add a stateful layer if you so wish. e.g. allowing a token to create a record on a DNS provider, and delete it afterwards, but not delete any other record. TODO: document plugin system

What? How?

The proxy uses asymmetric cryptography (a public and private key pair) and JWTs to encode its state into the magic token.

Each magic token is a simple JWT signed by the proxy's private key with these claims:

  "iat": 1541616032,
  "exp": 1699296032,
  "token": "[long encrypted key]",
  "allowed": [
    "GET /user",
    "GET /repos/theacodes/nox/issues"

The token claim is an encrypted version of the raw API token. It's encrypted using the proxy's public key, so that only the proxy itself can decrypt it (using its private key).

The allowed claim determines what the magic token has access to. This proxy has a basic, rudimentary scope implementation described below

The JWT is generated and signed by the proxy itself using its private key. This means the contents can not be tampered with without invalidating the JWT.


By default, this proxy has a simple scope strategy using the format:

METHOD /url/pattern

Where METHOD can be GET, POST, PUT, etc. and /url/pattern can be any regular expression that's used to check the URL.

For instance, to create a token that has access to any repository's issues in someorg, you could do:

GET /repos/someorg/.+?/issues




This is was adaptaed from an unofficial inside-Google project, experimental. This is not a magic bullet for security. You assume all risks when using this project.

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