Internet-Draft JWK Thumbprint URI February 2022
Jones & Yasuda Expires 18 August 2022 [Page]
OAuth Working Group
Intended Status:
Standards Track
M.B. Jones
K. Yasuda

JWK Thumbprint URI


This specification registers a kind of URI that represents a JSON Web Key (JWK) Thumbprint value. JWK Thumbprints are defined in RFC 7638. This enables JWK Thumbprints to be used, for instance, as key identifiers in contexts requiring URIs.

Status of This Memo

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This Internet-Draft will expire on 18 August 2022.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

A JSON Web Key (JWK) Thumbprint [RFC7638] is a URL-safe representation of a hash value over a JSON Web Key (JWK) [RFC7517]. This specification defines a URI prefix indicating that the portion of the URI following the prefix is a JWK Thumbprint. This enables JWK Thumbprints to be communicated in contexts requiring URIs, including in specific JSON Web Token (JWT) [RFC7519] claims.

JWK Thumbprints URIs are being used in the [SIOPv2] specification as one kind of subject identifier in a context requiring that the identifier be a URI. In this case, the subject identifier is derived from a public key represented as a JWK. Expressing the identifier as JWK Thumbprint URI enables this kind of identifier to be differentiated from other kinds of identifiers that are also URIs, such as Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) [DID-Core].

2. Requirements Notation and Conventions

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

3. JWK Thumbprint URI

The following URI prefix is defined to indicate that the portion of the URI following the prefix is a JWK Thumbprint:

To make it explicit in a URI which hash algorithm is used, the prefix is followed by a hash algorithm identifier and a JWK Thumbprint value, each separated by a colon character to form a URI representing a JWK Thumbprint.

4. Hash Algorithms Identifier

Hash algorithm identifiers used in JWK Thumbprint URIs are strings registered in the IANA "Named Information Hash Algorithm Registry" [IANA.Hash.Algorithms].

5. Mandatory to Implement Hash Algorithm

To promote interoperability among implementations, the SHA-256 hash algorithm is mandatory to implement.

6. Example JWK Thumbprint URI

Section 3.1 of [RFC7638] contains the following example JWK Thumbprint value:


A complete JWK Thumbprint URI using the above JWK Thumbprint and SHA-256 hash algorithm is:


7. Security Considerations

The security considerations of [RFC7638] also apply when using this specification.

7.1. Multiple Public Keys per Private Key

There are cryptographic algorithms for which multiple public keys correspond to the same private key. This is described in the security considerations of [RFC7748] as follows:

  • Designers using these curves should be aware that for each public key, there are several publicly computable public keys that are equivalent to it, i.e., they produce the same shared secrets. Thus using a public key as an identifier and knowledge of a shared secret as proof of ownership (without including the public keys in the key derivation) might lead to subtle vulnerabilities.

This consideration for public keys as identifiers equally applies to JWK Thumbprint URIs used as identifiers. A recommended way to ensure that the JWK Thumbprint URI corresponds to the actual public key used is to sign a message containing the correct public key with the private key. This signed message could also contain the JWK Thumbprint URI (although, by definition, it could also be computed directly from the public key).

8. IANA Considerations

8.1. OAuth URI Registration

This specification registers the following value in the IANA "OAuth URI" registry [IANA.OAuth.Parameters] established by [RFC6755].

8.1.1. Registry Contents

  • URN: urn:ietf:params:oauth:jwk-thumbprint
  • Common Name: JWK Thumbprint URI
  • Change controller: IESG
  • Specification Document: [[ this specification ]]

9. References

9.1. Normative References

IANA, "OAuth Parameters", <>.
Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <>.
Jones, M. and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web Key (JWK) Thumbprint", RFC 7638, DOI 10.17487/RFC7638, , <>.
Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, , <>.

9.2. Informative References

Sporny, M., Guy, A., Sabadello, M., and D. Reed, "Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0", , <>.
IANA, "Named Information Hash Algorithm Registry", <>.
Campbell, B. and H. Tschofenig, "An IETF URN Sub-Namespace for OAuth", RFC 6755, DOI 10.17487/RFC6755, , <>.
Jones, M., "JSON Web Key (JWK)", RFC 7517, DOI 10.17487/RFC7517, , <>.
Jones, M., Bradley, J., and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web Token (JWT)", RFC 7519, DOI 10.17487/RFC7519, , <>.
Langley, A., Hamburg, M., and S. Turner, "Elliptic Curves for Security", RFC 7748, DOI 10.17487/RFC7748, , <>.
Yasuda, K. and M. B. Jones, "Self-Issued OpenID Provider v2", , <>.

Appendix A. Acknowledgements

Use cases for this specification were developed in the OpenID Connect Working Group of the OpenID Foundation. Specifically, it is being used a key identifier in the [SIOPv2] specification.

The following individuals also contributed to this specification: John Bradley, Brian Campbell, Vladimir Dzhuvinov, Adam Lemmon, Neil Madden, Aaron Parecki, and David Waite.

Appendix B. Document History

[[ to be removed by the RFC Editor before publication as an RFC ]]



Authors' Addresses

Michael B. Jones
Kristina Yasuda