How to authenticate API based on the access token?

I have an electron desktop app that communicates with my Node.js API (not express.js tho). The electron app sends access token in a Authorization header, like this: Authorization: Bearer <access_token> . I set it manually for each http request, not a big deal. The access token comes from Auth0. How can I verify this token in my Node.js server?

So, I just have access token string on my API server and would like to verify it somehow.

Hi @sympi

You can certainly do that and it’s fairly simple.

You can follow this guide Full-Stack TypeScript Apps: Developing a Secure API with NestJS

I was using NestJS as my backend framework, should be pretty similar for any other framework.

Let us know if you have any questions

1 Like

Hi @osauceda,

Do I have to use express-jwt with jwks-rsa? It looks like it is designed to be used with express. I don’t really have a concept of middlewares and req, res, next thing. All I have is an accessToken, I get it from Authorization header.

Can you share what’s the structure of your node backend project? Or is it a vanilla application?

1 Like

Hey there @sympi welcome to the community! Howdy @osauceda! :cowboy_hat_face:

For Node in particular, I definitely recommend taking a look at express-oauth2-jwt-bearer - Here’s a quick blog post on it as well:

This library makes it easy to validate access tokens tokens included in the authorization header as well as more granular authorization such as checking for specific scopes, claims, etc.

Hope this helps!

@osauceda yes, it’s a vanilla node.js server.

This is what I came up with to verify accessToken. Simple function that takes accessToken as a string and verifies it. Can you confirm if that’s correct and this is what we should do?

import jwt from 'jsonwebtoken';
import jwkToBuffer from 'jwk-to-pem';

type JWKFile = {
    keys: jwkToBuffer.JWK[];

const ISSUER = ''; // specify real one

export const verifyJwt = (token: string) => {
    return new Promise(async (resolve, reject) => {
        // make a request to get the JWKs
        const jwks = (await (await fetch(`${ISSUER}/.well-known/jwks.json`)).json()) as
            | JWKFile
            | undefined;

        if (!jwks || jwks.keys?.[0] == undefined) {
            return undefined;

        // convert the jwks to a pem string
        const pem = jwkToBuffer(jwks.keys[0]);
                algorithms: ['RS256'],
            (err, decoded) => {
                if (err) {
                    return reject(err);
                return resolve(decoded);

can somebody help? I have an accessToken string and would like to verify if it’s correct. How can I do this? All the above examples assume that I have express style middleware, but I don’t.

Hey @sympi!

Please see our documentation on how to validate access tokens.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.