Swiftpack.co - Package - adam-fowler/aws-cognito-authentication-kit

AWS Cognito Authentication Kit

Amazon Cognito provides authentication, authorization, and user management for your web apps.

Using with Cognito User Pools


First you need to create an AWSCognitoConfiguration instance that stores all your configuration information and create your AWSCognitoAuthenticatable instance

let configuration = AWSCognitoConfiguration(
    userPoolId: String = "eu-west-1_userpoolid",
    clientId: String = "23432clientId234234",
    clientSecret: String = "1q9ln4m892j2cnsdapa0dalh9a3aakmpeugiaag8k3cacijlbkrp",
    cognitoIDP: CognitoIdentityProvider = CognitoIdentityProvider(region: .euwest1),
    region: Region = .euwest1
let authenticatable = AWSCognitoAuthenticatable(configuration: configuration)

The values userPoolId, clientId and clientSecret can all be find on the Amazon Cognito user pool console. cognitoIDP is the client used to communicate with Amazon Web Services. It is provided by the Soto library. Some functions will need you to provide AWS credentials to your CognitoIdentityProvider. You can find more details about providing credentials here. region is the AWS server region your user pool is in.

Creating a AWS Cognito user

Assuming we have the AWSCognitoAuthenticatable instance from above the following can be used to create a user. This function requires a CognitoIdentityProvider setup with AWS credentials.

let username = "johndoe"
let attributes: [String: String] = ["email": "user@email.com", "name": "John Doe", "gender": "male"]
return authenticatable.createUser(username: username, attributes: attributes, on: request.eventLoop)

The attributes you provide should match the attributes you selected when creating the user pool in the AWS Cognito console. Once you've created a user an email is sent to them detailing their username and randomly generated password. The on: parameter is an eventLoop to do the work on.

As an alternative you can use the signUp function which takes a username and password. This will send a confirmation email to the user which includes a confirmation code. You then call confirmSignUp with this confirmation code. For this path to be available you need to have the 'Allow users to sign themselves up' flag set in your user pool.

Authenticating with a username and a password

Once your user is created and confirmed in the signUp case. The following will generate JWT authentication tokens from a username and password. This function requires a CognitoIdentityProvider setup with AWS credentials, unless you pass the requireAuthenticatedClient parameter set to false.

let response = authenticatable.authenticate(
    username: username, 
    password: password,
    requireAuthenticatedClient: true,
    context: request,
    on: request.eventLoop)
    .flatMap { response in
        if case .authenticated(let authenticated) = response {
            let accessToken = authenticated.accessToken
            let idToken = authenticated.idToken
            let refreshToken = authenticated.refreshToken

The access token is used just to indicate a user has been granted access. It contains verification information, the username and a subject uuid which can be used to identify the user if you don't want to use the username. The token is valid for 60 minutes. The idToken contains claims about the identity of the user. It should contain all the attributes attached to the user. Again this token is only valid for 60 minutes. If you receive a challenged case then you have a login challenge and must respond to it before receiving authentication tokens. See below.

Verifying an access token is valid

The following will verify whether a token gives access.

let response = authenticatable.authenticate(accessToken: token, on: request.eventLoop)
    .flatMap { response in
        let username = response.username
        let subject = response.subject

If the access token has expired, was not issued by the user pool or not created for the app client this call will return a failed Future with a unauthorized error.

Verifying the contents of an id token

Id tokens contain the attributes of a user. As this varies between projects you have to provide a custom class to be filled out with these. The class needs to inherit from Codable and the CodingKeys need to reflect the keys provided by Amazon Web Services. These are defined in OIDC Standard Claims. If you have custom attributes attached to your user these will be prefixed by "custom:". The following will extract the username, email, name and gender from an id token.

struct IdResponse: Codable {
    let email: String
    let username: String
    let name: String
    let gender: String
    private enum CodingKeys: String, CodingKey {
        case email = "email"
        case username = "cognito:username"
        case name = "name"
        case gender = "gender"
let response = authenticatable.authenticate(idToken: token, on: req.eventLoop)
    .map { (response: IdResponse)->IdResponse in
        let email = response.email
        let username = response.username
        let name = response.name
        let gender = response.gender
        return response

NB The username tag in an ID Token is "cognito:username"

Refreshing id and access tokens

To avoid having to ask the user for their username and password every 60 minutes a refresh token is also provided. You can use this to generate new id and access tokens whenever they have expired or are about to expire. The refresh token is valid for 30 days. Although you can edit the length of this in the Cognito console.

let response = authenticatable.refresh(
    username: username, 
    refreshToken: refreshToken, 
    context: request,
    on: request.eventLoop)
    .flatMap { response in
        let accessToken = response.authenticated?.accessToken
        let idToken = response.authenticated?.idToken

Responding to authentication challenges

Sometimes when you try to authenticate a username and password or a refresh token you will be returned a challenge instead of the authentication tokens. An example of being when someone logs in for the first time they are required to change their password before they can continue. In this situation AWS Cognito returns a new password challenge. When you respond to this with a new password it provides you with the authentication tokens. Other situations would include Multi Factor Authentication. The following is responding to a change password request

let challengeName: AWSCognitoChallengeName = .newPasswordRequired 
let challengeResponse: [String: String] = ["NEW_PASSWORD":"MyNewPassword1"]
let response = authenticatable.respondToChallenge(
    username: username, 
    name: challengeName, 
    responses: challengeResponse, 
    session: session, 
    context: request,
    on: request.eventLoop)
    .flatMap { response in
        let accessToken = response.authenticated?.accessToken
        let idToken = response.authenticated?.idToken
        let refreshToken = response.authenticated?.refreshToken

The name parameter is an enum containing all challenges. The responses parameter is a dictionary of inputs to the challenge. The session parameter was included in the challenge returned to you by the authentication request. If the challenge is successful you will get response.authenticated as a response. If another challenge is required then you will get details of that in response.challenged. There are custom versions of the respondToChallenge function for new password: respondToNewPasswordChallenge and for Multi Factor Authentication: respondToMFAChallenge.

Creating user pools

There are a few settings that are required when creating your Cognito user pool, if you want to use it with the AWS Cognito Authentication library. Because the library uses the Admin level service calls device tracking is unavailable so ensure you set device remembering to off. Otherwise your refresh tokens will not work.

When creating the app client for your user pool ensure you have 'Generate client secret' enabled. The AWS Cognito Authentication library automatically creates the secret hash required for user pools that have a client secret. It would be sensible to take advantage of this. As the library is designed to work on secured backend servers it uses the Admin no SRP authorization flow to authenticate users. You will also need to tick 'Enable username password auth for admin APIs for authentication (ALLOW_ADMIN_USER_PASSWORD_AUTH)' to ensure authentiation works.

For more details on AWS Cognito User Pools you can find Amazon's documentation here

Using with Cognito Identity Pools

AWS Cognito Authentication can be used to interface with Amazon Cognito Federated Identities, allowing you to create temporary credentials for accessing AWS services.


First you need to create an AWSCognitoIdentityConfiguration instance that stores all your configuration information for interfacing with Amazon Cognito Federated Identities and a AWSCognitoIdentifiable instance.

let configuration = AWSCognitoIdentityConfiguration(
    identityPoolId: String = "eu-west-1_identitypoolid"
    identityProvider: String = "provider"
    cognitoIdentity: CognitoIdentity = CognitoIdentity(region: .euwest1)
let identifiable = AWSCognitoIdentifiable(configuration: configuration)

The identityPoolId you can get from "Edit Identity Pool" section of the AWS console. cognitoIdentity is the client used to communicate with Amazon Web Services. It is provided by the aws-sdk-swift library. The identityProvider is whatever you setup in the AWS Cognito Identity Pool for providing authentication details. If you are using this in conjunction with Cognito User Pools you can use the protocol AWSCognitoUserPoolIdentifiable which sets up the identityProvider for you. This conforms with the AWSCognitoAuthenticatable protocol so can be used for user pool actions as well.

Accessing credentials

There are two steps to accessing AWS credentials. First you need to get an identity id and then with that identity id you can get your AWS credentials. This can be done with the following.

return identifiable.getIdentityId(idToken: idToken, on: req.eventLoop)
    .flatMap { identity in
        return identifiable.getCredentialForIdentity(identityId: identity, idToken: token, on: req.eventLoop)

In the situation you are using Cognito user pools the idToken is the idToken returned when you authenticate a user.


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v1.2.0 -

  • Added support for running on iOS
  • When shutting down httpClient for reading JWK tokens, use async shutdown instead of syncShutdown
  • Redirect links to swift-aws/aws-sdk-swift to soto-project/soto
  • Upgrade swift-server/async-http-client.git version to 1.2.0

v1.1.0 -

  • Replace swift-aws/aws-sdk-swift with soto-project/soto.git in Package.swift dependencies
  • AWSCognitoAuthenticatable.loadSigners() uses httpClient.shutdown instead of httpClient.syncShutdown

v1.0.0 -

  • Uses jwt-kit version 4.0.0

v1.0.0 Release Candidate 3 -

This release includes breaking changes.

  • AWSCognitoAuthenticateResponse is now an enum instead of a struct containing both the authenticated and challenged cases.
  • Replace AdminNoSrpAuth authorisation flow with the new AdminUserPasswordAuth flow.
  • refresh function parameter requireAuthentication is now called requireAuthenticatedClient.
  • Added requireAuthenticatedClient to `authenticate(username, password...) function to control whether an authenticated CognitoIdentityProvider client is needed.

v1.0.0 RC 2 (Vapor 4 Release Candidate) -

  • Split SRP code into a separate target, to avoid bringing in dependencies if they are not needed
  • Use Bignum 2.0

v1.0.0-rc.1.1 (Vapor4 Release Candidate) -

Update package.swift to work with XCode

v1.0.0 RC 1 (Vapor 4 Release Candidate) -

  • Works with Vapor 4 release candidate versions

v1.0.0 Beta 1 -

  • Split off from AWSCognitoAuthentication so Vapor isn't a requirement