http4k Digest security Module

Installation (Gradle)

implementation group: "org.http4k", name: "http4k-security-digest", version: ""


Support for integrating with servers secured by Digest authentication; useful for working with legacy servers or IOT devices that don't typically support TLS. For completeness, a Digest Provider has also been included for use with servers.

Digest authentication is useful for protecting credentials in transit when traffic isn't encrypted. Instead of the client transmitting plain-text or encrypted credentials, it sends a hash of the credentials instead; this ensures a man-in-the-middle can never intercept the credentials, despite the connection being insecure.

Despite being made redundant by TLS, digest authentication has a major disadvantage; it typically requires user credentials to be accessible by the server. In most other authentication mechanisms, the server can store a non-reversible hash, which reduces the severity of a database breach.

At it's most basic, the digest authentication flow works like this:

  1. Client makes an HTTP call to a server protected by Digest authentication
  2. The server responds with an HTTP 401, including a Digest challenge in the WWW-Authenticate header. This header includes all the information the client needs to correctly generate a credentials hash
  3. With the user-supplied credentials, the client converts them into hash and encodes them as a hexadecimal digest, then transmits them to the server, along with the plaintext username
  4. With the username given by the client, the server looks up the password for that user, generates the expected hash, and compares is to the one supplied by the client. If they match, it grants the client access to the protected resource

Example Provider

This example has an integrated username/password store; you will want to come up with your own version, with credentials encrypted at rest.

The server accepts a path parameter, and parrots back the value provided by the client.

package guide.reference.digest

import org.http4k.core.Method.GET
import org.http4k.core.Response
import org.http4k.core.Status.Companion.OK
import org.http4k.core.then
import org.http4k.filter.DigestAuth
import org.http4k.filter.ServerFilters
import org.http4k.routing.bind
import org.http4k.routing.path
import org.http4k.routing.routes
import org.http4k.server.SunHttp
import org.http4k.server.asServer

fun main() {
    val users = mapOf(
        "admin" to "password",
        "user" to "hunter2"

    val routes = routes(
        "/hello/{name}" bind GET to { request ->
            val name = request.path("name")
            Response(OK).body("Hello $name")

    val authFilter = ServerFilters.DigestAuth(realm = "http4k", passwordLookup = { username -> users[username] })


Example Client

This example integrates with the provider above, sending a request with a value to be parroted back.

package guide.reference.digest

import org.http4k.client.JavaHttpClient
import org.http4k.core.Credentials
import org.http4k.core.Method.GET
import org.http4k.core.Request
import org.http4k.core.then
import org.http4k.filter.ClientFilters
import org.http4k.filter.DigestAuth

fun main() {
    val credentials = Credentials("admin", "password")

    val client = ClientFilters.DigestAuth(credentials)

    val request = Request(GET, "http://localhost:8000/hello/http4k")

    val response = client(request)