In this article we are going to explore how to implement Google sign-in on a Golang server.

Google sign-in

When we talk about implementing Google Sign-in, we are referring to using the OpenID Connect protocol to verify a user is who they say they are.

I’m not going to go into the depths of the protocol, but in broad terms, these are the steps we care about:

  • Client gets a JWT (usually with the help of a library provided by google)
  • Client sends this JWT to our server
  • Our server validates the JWT

In this post we are going to focus on the validation of the JWT.

Validating the JWT

The go-oidc library implements all the hairy bits of the OpenID protocol for us. We need to start by creating a provider that will connect to Google’s server:

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googleOidcProvider, err = oidc.NewProvider(ctx, "https://accounts.google.com")
if err != nil {
  fmt.Println("Failed to create provider")
}

The JWT is usually sent as part of an Authorization header on this format:

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Authorization: Bearer <JWT data>

To get the JWT from the header:

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authHeader, ok := request.Header["Authorization"]
if !ok {
  fmt.Println("Authorization header not found")
}

// Headers are arrays, so we have to do this :(
authHeaderVal := authHeader[0]

// We expect the header to be "Bearer <JWT data>"
headerParts := strings.Split(authHeaderVal, " ")
if len(headerParts) != 2 {
  fmt.Println("Authorization header is malformed")
}

jwt := headerParts[1]

Now that we have the jwt, we only need to validate it:

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// GA_CLIENT_ID is the Oauth client id provided to our app by Google
// We can creat one following these instructions: https://support.google.com/cloud/answer/6158849
verifier := googleOidcProvider.Verifier(&oidc.Config{ClientID: os.Getenv("GA_CLIENT_ID")})

token, err := verifier.Verify(ctx, jwt)
if err != nil {
  fmt.Println("JWT is not valid")
}

fmt.Println("JWT is valid")

Once we know the JWT is valid, we can save the user in a database, give them access to some resources they own, or any other thing that makes sense for our application.

Conclusion

Allowing users to sign into our server using JWT is very easy by using the right tools.

[ application_design  authentication  golang  google  programming  security  ]
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