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The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework: Bearer Token Usage
RFC 6750

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (October 2012)
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-02-12
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: WG Document
Revised I-D Needed - Issue raised by WGLC
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: Hannes Tschofenig

IESG State: RFC 6750 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Stephen Farrell
Send notices to: oauth-chairs@tools.ietf.org, draft-ietf-oauth-v2-bearer@tools.ietf.org

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          M. Jones
Request for Comments: 6750                                     Microsoft
Category: Standards Track                                       D. Hardt
ISSN: 2070-1721                                              Independent
                                                            October 2012

       The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework: Bearer Token Usage

Abstract

   This specification describes how to use bearer tokens in HTTP
   requests to access OAuth 2.0 protected resources.  Any party in
   possession of a bearer token (a "bearer") can use it to get access to
   the associated resources (without demonstrating possession of a
   cryptographic key).  To prevent misuse, bearer tokens need to be
   protected from disclosure in storage and in transport.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6750.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Jones & Hardt                Standards Track                    [Page 1]
RFC 6750              OAuth 2.0 Bearer Token Usage          October 2012

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
      1.1. Notational Conventions .....................................3
      1.2. Terminology ................................................3
      1.3. Overview ...................................................3
   2. Authenticated Requests ..........................................4
      2.1. Authorization Request Header Field .........................5
      2.2. Form-Encoded Body Parameter ................................5
      2.3. URI Query Parameter ........................................6
   3. The WWW-Authenticate Response Header Field ......................7
      3.1. Error Codes ................................................9
   4. Example Access Token Response ..................................10
   5. Security Considerations ........................................10
      5.1. Security Threats ..........................................10
      5.2. Threat Mitigation .........................................11
      5.3. Summary of Recommendations ................................13
   6. IANA Considerations ............................................14
      6.1. OAuth Access Token Type Registration ......................14
           6.1.1. The "Bearer" OAuth Access Token Type ...............14
      6.2. OAuth Extensions Error Registration .......................14
           6.2.1. The "invalid_request" Error Value ..................14
           6.2.2. The "invalid_token" Error Value ....................15
           6.2.3. The "insufficient_scope" Error Value ...............15
   7. References .....................................................15
      7.1. Normative References ......................................15
      7.2. Informative References ....................................17
   Appendix A. Acknowledgements ......................................18

1.  Introduction

   OAuth enables clients to access protected resources by obtaining an
   access token, which is defined in "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization
   Framework" [RFC6749] as "a string representing an access
   authorization issued to the client", rather than using the resource
   owner's credentials directly.

   Tokens are issued to clients by an authorization server with the
   approval of the resource owner.  The client uses the access token to
   access the protected resources hosted by the resource server.  This
   specification describes how to make protected resource requests when

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