Authentication (External)

To access the API as an external consumer, you need to include a JSON Web Token (JWT) in the Authorization header for every request. This header authenticates your user account so you could think of it like a session cookie.

If you are building an app that lives on the AMO domain, read the documentation for internal authentication instead.

Access Credentials

To create JWTs, first obtain a key and secret from the API Credentials Management Page.

Note

Keep your API keys secret and never commit them to a public code repository or share them with anyone, including Mozilla contributors.

If someone obtains your secret they can make API requests on behalf of your user account.

Create a JWT for each request

Prior to making every API request, you need to generate a fresh JWT. The JWT will have a short expiration time and is only valid for a single request so you can’t cache or reuse it. You only need to include a few standard fields; here’s what the raw JSON object needs to look like before it’s signed:

{
    "iss": "your-api-key",
    "jti": "0.47362944623455405",
    "iat": 1447273096,
    "exp": 1447273156
}
iss
This is a standard JWT claim identifying the issuer. Set this to the API key you generated on the credentials management page. For example: user:543210:23.
jti
This is a standard JWT claim declaring a JWT ID. This value needs to have a high probability of being unique across all recent requests made by your issuer ID. This value is a type of cryptographic nonce designed to prevent replay attacks.
iat
This is a standard JWT claim indicating the issued at time. It should be a Unix epoch timestamp and must be in UTC time.
exp

This is a standard JWT claim indicating the expiration time. It should be a Unix epoch timestamp in UTC time and must be no longer than five minutes past the issued at time.

Changed in version 2016-10-06: We increased the expiration time from 60 seconds to five minutes to workaround support for large and slow uploads.

Note

If you’re having trouble authenticating, make sure your system clock is correct and consider synchronizing it with something like tlsdate.

Take this JSON object and sign it with the API secret you generated on the credentials management page. You must sign the JWT using the HMAC-SHA256 algorithm (which is typically the default). The final JWT will be a blob of base64 encoded text, something like:

eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpYXQiOjE0NDcyNzMwOTZ9.MG9LJiEK5_Db8WpF5cWWRebXCtUB48EJzxKIBqQhSOo

Here is an example of creating a JWT in NodeJS using the node-jsonwebtoken library:

var jwt = require('jsonwebtoken');

var issuedAt = Math.floor(Date.now() / 1000);
var payload = {
  iss: 'your-api-key',
  jti: Math.random().toString(),
  iat: issuedAt,
  exp: issuedAt + 60,
};

var secret = 'your-api-secret';  // store this securely.
var token = jwt.sign(payload, secret, {
  algorithm: 'HS256',  // HMAC-SHA256 signing algorithm
});

Create an Authorization header

When making each request, put your generated JSON Web Token (JWT) into an HTTP Authorization header prefixed with JWT, like this:

Authorization: JWT eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpYXQiOjE0NDcyNzMwOTZ9.MG9LJiEK5_Db8WpF5cWWRebXCtUB48EJzxKIBqQhSOo

Example request

Using the profile as an example endpoint, here’s what a JWT authenticated HTTP request would look like in curl:

curl "https://addons.mozilla.org/api/v3/accounts/profile/" \
     -H "Authorization: JWT eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpYXQiOjE0NDcyNzMwOTZ9.MG9LJiEK5_Db8WpF5cWWRebXCtUB48EJzxKIBqQhSOo"

Find a JWT library

There are robust open source libraries for creating JWTs in all major programming languages.