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A simple and secure way of authenticating your APIs with API HMAC keys using Laravel

v4.2.10 2018-05-10 07:38 UTC


Latest Stable Version Total Downloads Join the chat at https://gitter.im/chrisbjr/api-guard

Impersonate Protection Algorithm

A simple way of authenticating your APIs with API HMAC keys using Laravel. This package uses the following libraries:

Laravel 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 is finally supported!

**Laravel 5.3.x onwards: ~4.*

**Laravel 5.1.x to 5.2.x: ~3.*

**Laravel 5.1.x: ~2.*

**Laravel 4.2.x: ~1.* (Recently updated version for Laravel 4. Please note that there are namespace changes here)

**Laravel 4.2.x: 0.* (The version that most of you are using)

Fork overview points:

1- API tokens should never be saved in the database, which help us secure users token and protect them against impersonate user account by using tokens that leaked from database if breach take place.

2- Database will save a public_key which is an endpoint to access key pairs record, this key should be unique and indexed.

3- Database will save a private_key which will be kept private at server side.

4- Token which is a shared_key will be generated every time when the request happen.

5- Token will be generated on the fly by Hmac and using Application Key config('app.key') as server private key with private_key which considered a client private key on server side.

6- Default Hmac algo is sha3-384, there are many algo out there.

7- If you change Hmac algo, the key length will be different which depends on algo itself.

8- The Middleware will expect two keys as headers which are:

  • X-Auth-EndPoint: this is a public_key
  • X-Auth-Token: this is a shared_key

9- If you don't like a default headers name, then you can update them from apiguard.php config file.

10- You should send these two keys public_key & shared_key to your clients and make them send it back to server in order to be identified.

Quick Example

>>> $key = ApiKey::make($person); // or $user
=> Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Models\ApiKey {#1256
     public_key: "-15af2b946b069d-5mQykkuMmF8UDZIuZkG8AdFfB3udhYkGW-",
     apikeyable_id: 1,
     apikeyable_type: "App\Models\Person",
     last_ip_address: "",
     last_used_at: Carbon\Carbon @1525856582 {#1263
       date: 2018-05-09 12:03:02.723851 Asia/Riyadh (+03:00),
     private_key: "-17AKPqotjcQBjzmdktluKiR5qUbyyzqWov-15af2b946b0c4-",
     updated_at: "2018-05-09 12:03:02",
     created_at: "2018-05-09 12:03:02",
     id: 5,
>>> $key->clientKeys()
=> [
     "endpoint" => "-15af2b946b069d-5mQykkuMmF8UDZIuZkG8AdFfB3udhYkGW-",
     "token" => "9f9de38c4405a747fc25dd146b2ee6a30e8ea627c7da26d5a616c4c2fcb9ec896b4020febcb4971a65b97959c5d5625a",
>>> $key->publicKey()
=> "-15af2b946b069d-5mQykkuMmF8UDZIuZkG8AdFfB3udhYkGW-"
>>> $key->sharedKey()
=> "9f9de38c4405a747fc25dd146b2ee6a30e8ea627c7da26d5a616c4c2fcb9ec896b4020febcb4971a65b97959c5d5625a"
>>> $key->privateKey()
=> null // private keys are always protected and writable for one time

Quick start

Installation for Laravel 5.3 to 5.4

Run composer require vzool/api-hmac-guard 4.*

In your config/app.php add Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Providers\ApiGuardServiceProvider to the end of the providers array

'providers' => array(


Now publish the migration and configuration files for api-guard:

$ php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Providers\ApiGuardServiceProvider"

Then run the migration:

$ php artisan migrate

It will setup api_keys table.

Generating your first API key

Once you're done with the required setup, you can now generate your first API key.

Run the following command to generate an API key:

php artisan api-key:generate

Generally, the ApiKey object is a polymorphic object meaning this can belong to more than one other model.

To generate an API key that is linked to another object (a "user", for example), you can do the following:

+php artisan api-key:generate --id=1 --type="App\User"

To specify that a model can have API keys, you can attach the Apikeyable trait to the model:

use Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Models\Mixins\Apikeyable;

class User extends Model
    use Apikeyable;


This will attach the following methods to the model:

// Get the API keys of the object

// Create an API key for the object

To generate an API key from within your application, you can use the following method in the ApiKey model:

$apiKey = Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Models\ApiKey::make()

// Attach a model to the API key
$apiKey = Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Models\ApiKey::make($model)

To access client keys:



You can start using ApiGuard by simply attaching the auth.apikey middleware to your API route:

Route::middleware(['auth.apikey'])->get('/test', function (Request $request) {
    return $request->user(); // Returns the associated model to the API key

This effectively secures your API with an API key which needs to specified in the X-Authorization header. This can be configured in config/apiguard.php.

Here is a sample cURL command to demonstrate:

curl -X GET \
  http://apiguard.dev/api/test \
  -H 'x-authorization: api-key-here'

You might also want to attach this middleware to your api middleware group in your app/Http/Kernel.php to take advantage of other Laravel features such as throttling.

 * The application's route middleware groups.
 * @var array
protected $middlewareGroups = [

    'api' => [

If you noticed in the basic example, you can also access the attached model to the API key by calling $request->user(). We are attaching the related model in this method because in most use cases, this is actually the user.

Unauthorized Requests

Unauthorized requests will get a 401 status response with the following JSON:

  "error": {
    "code": "401",
    "http_code": "GEN-UNAUTHORIZED",
    "message": "Unauthorized."


The ApiGuardController takes advantage of Fractal and api-response libraries.

This enables us to easily create APIs with models and use transformers to give a standardized JSON response.

Here is an example:

Let's say you have the following model:

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class Book extends Model
    protected $fillable = [

You can make a basic controller which will return all books like this:

use Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Http\Controllers\ApiGuardController;
use App\Transformers\BookTransformer;
use App\Book;

class BooksController extends ApiGuardController
    public function all()
        $books = Book::all();

        return $this->response->withCollection($books, new BookTransformer);

Now, you'll need to make the transformer for your Book object. Transformers help with defining and manipulating the variables you want to return to your JSON response.

use League\Fractal\TransformerAbstract;
use App\Book;

class BookTransformer extends TransformerAbstract
    public function transform(Book $book)
        return [
            'id'         => $book->id,
            'name'       => $book->name,
            'created_at' => $book->created_at,
            'updated_at' => $book->updated_at,

Once you have this accessible in your routes, you will get the following response from the controller:

  "data": {
    "id": 1,
    "title": "The Great Adventures of Chris",
    "created_at": {
      "date": "2017-05-25 18:54:18",
      "timezone_type": 3,
      "timezone": "UTC"
    "updated_at": {
      "date": "2017-05-25 18:54:18",
      "timezone_type": 3,
      "timezone": "UTC"

More examples can be found on the Github page: https://github.com/ellipsesynergie/api-response.

To learn more about transformers, visit the PHP League's documentation on Fractal: Fractal

API Validation Responses

ApiGuard comes with a request class that can handle validation of requests for you and throw a standard response.

You can create a Request class as you usually do but in order to get a standard JSON response you'll have to extend the ApiGuardFormRequest class.

use Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Http\Requests\ApiGuardFormRequest;

class BookStoreRequest extends ApiGuardFormRequest
    public function authorize()
        return true;

    public function rules()
        return [
            'name' => 'required',

Now you can use this in your controller as you normally do with Laravel:

use Vzool\ApiHmacGuard\Http\Controllers\ApiGuardController;
use App\Transformers\BookTransformer;
use App\Book;

class BooksController extends ApiGuardController
    public function store(BookStoreRequest $request)
        // Request should already be validated

        $book = Book::create($request->all())

        return $this->response->withItem($book, new BookTransformer);

If the request failed to pass the validation rules, it will return with a response like the following:

  "error": {
    "code": "GEN-UNPROCESSABLE",
    "http_code": 422,
    "message": {
      "name": [
        "The name field is required."