Nimbus JOSE + JWT

  • The most popular and robust Java and Android library for JSON Web Tokens (JWT)
  • Covers all standard signature (JWS) and encryption (JWE) algorithms, including recent secp256k1, ECDH-1PU and XC20P additions
  • Open source Apache 2.0 license

Secure tokens and APIs

This library implements the Javascript Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) and JSON Web Token (JWT) standards, with a comprehensive yet easy to use API for:

  • Signing and encrypting tokens, such as self-contained OAuth 2.0 access tokens and OpenID Connect identity tokens
  • Self-contained API keys, with optional revocation
  • Stateless sessions
  • Security event tokens
  • Applying signatures or authenticated encryption to content and messages
  • Authenticating clients and web API requests

Hello, world!

// Create an HMAC-protected JWS object with a string payload
JWSObject jwsObject = new JWSObject(new JWSHeader(JWSAlgorithm.HS256),
                                    new Payload("Hello, world!"));

// We need a 256-bit key for HS256 which must be pre-shared
byte[] sharedKey = new byte[32];
new SecureRandom().nextBytes(sharedKey);

// Apply the HMAC to the JWS object
jwsObject.sign(new MACSigner(sharedKey));

// Output in URL-safe format

Looking for more examples?


Check out the latest release:


Go to the downloads page for more instructions.

Full compact JOSE and JWT support

Create, serialise and process:

  • JSON Web Signature (JWS) secured objects
  • JSON Web Encryption (JWE) secured objects
  • Signed and / or encrypted JSON Web Tokens (JWTs)

Unsecured (alg=none) objects and JWTs are also supported.

Supported JOSE serialisations:

  • Compact -- the most commonly used (by JWTs)
  • JSON:
    • General syntax -- supports multiple JWS signatures or JWE recipients
    • Flattened syntax -- optimised JSON syntax

All standard JWS and JWE algorithms are covered

Check out our algorithm selection guide if you're unsure which JWS or JWE might be appropriate for your application.


MAC / signature JWS alg identifiers
HMAC integrity HS256, HS384 and HS512
RSASSA-PKCS1-V1_5 signatures RS256, RS384 and RS512
RSASSA-PSS signatures PS256, PS384 and PS512
EC signatures ES256, ES256K, ES384 and ES512
EdDSA signatures EdDSA, Ed25519

Based on the secp256k1 curve.


Key management JWE alg identifiers
RSAES-PKCS1-V1_5 encryption RSA1_5
AES key wrap encryption A128KW, A192KW and A256KW
Direct shared symmetric key encryption dir
Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman key agreement ECDH-ES, ECDH-ES+A128KW, ECDH-ES+A192KW and ECDH-ES+A256KW
Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman public key authenticated encryption ECDH-1PU, ECDH-1PU+A128KW, ECDH-1PU+A128KW and ECDH-1PU+A256KW
AES GCM key wrap encryption A128GCMKW, A192GCMKW and A256GCMKW
PBES2 key encryption PBES2-HS256+A128KW, PBES2-HS384+A192KW and PBES2-HS512+A256KW

Encryption methods JWE enc identifiers
AES/CBC/HMAC/SHA authenticated encryption A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512, A128CBC+HS256 (deprecated) and A256CBC+HS512 (deprecated)
AES in Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) A128GCM, A192GCM and A256GCM
Extended nonce ChaCha20-Poly1305 XC20P

Compression JWE zip identifier


Key type JWK kty identifier
RSA (RFC 3447) RSA
Elliptic Curve (DSS) EC
Octet sequence (symmetric key) oct
Octet key pair (RFC 8037) OKP

Neat decoupling between the JOSE / JWT layer and the underlying cryptography implementations

The JOSE / JWT layer and the underlying cryptography implementations are neatly decoupled by means of stable public interfaces. This enables application developers to easily switch algorithm implementations and plug JCA providers, including hardware-based (PKCS#11 smart cards and HSMs). Cloud-based providers, such as Google Cloud's KMS, are also supported.

JSON entity mapping

JSON and Java entities are naturally mapped. Check the usage examples.

string java.lang.String
number java.lang.Number
true / false java.lang.Boolean
JSON array java.util.List<Object>
JSON object java.util.Map<String, Object>
null null


The comprehensive JavaDocs can serve as API reference and to discover the library's many features and capabilities. You can browse the JavaDocs online or download them from Maven Central.

Implemented specifications

From the JOSE, OAuth, COSE working groups and other sources:

  • Web Cryptography API -- W3C effort to specify a standard JavaScript API for performing cryptographic operations in the browser.

System requirements and dependencies

The Nimbus JOSE + JWT library works with Java 7+ and has minimal dependencies.

  • Gson for efficient JSON parsing and serialisation. Shaded to prevent dependency conflicts.

  • JCIP for concurrency annotations.

  • (optional) BouncyCastle can be used as an alternative cryptographic backend via the standard Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA) interface. Developers typically resort to BouncyCastle if they use Java 7 which doesn't support certain operations for JWS and JWE. See JCA algorithm support for more info.

  • (optional) BouncyCastle FIPS as a FIPS 140-2, Level 1 compliant JCA provider. Must not be imported as dependency together with the plain BouncyCastle provider!

  • (optional) Tink for handling Ed25519 signatures (RFC 8037), ECDH with X25519 (RFC 8037) and content encryption with Extended nonce ChaCha20-Poly1305 (XC20P, draft-amringer-jose-chacha-02).

JWK generator

A tool for generating RSA, EC and symmetric JSON Web Keys (JWKs) is also available, thanks to Justin Richer. He also hosts an online version.


The library source code is made available under the Apache 2.0 license.

To post bug reports and suggestions

Your feedback is important. Read how to submit bug reports and suggestions. Here is a list of new features and algorithms that the we would like to see implemented and supported by the library.


Development of this library was started by Connect2id in January 2012. The initial code was based on JWS/JWE/JWT crypto classes factored out of the OpenInfoCard project. A rewrite to fully decouple the JOSE + JWT object representation from the crypto implementation led to the next major 2.0 release in October 2012. Today the library is used by our OpenID Connect server and numerous other products and services in identity, messaging, mobile and finance.


  • Axel Nennker and the developers behind OpenInfoCard for providing much of the initial code.
  • Thomas Rørvik Skjølberg at Entur for contributing a powerful mini framework for retrieving JWK sets with caching, outage, retrial and fail-over capabilities.
  • Egor Puzanov for contributing the JSON Web Encryption (JWE) to multiple recipients and reworking the JWE JSON class.
  • Stian Valentin Svedenborg for adding ESxxx support to the existing JWS creation on Android and other devices with biometric prompt.
  • SICPA and DSR Corporation, Alexander Martynov, Alexander Sherbakov, Yolan Romailler and Patrick McClurg for contributing EDCH-1PU and XC20P support.
  • Justin Richer for handling initial releases to Maven Central, JPSK support, numerous improvements, fixes and suggestions.
  • Melisa Halsband from CertiVox for implementing AES key wrap and AES GCM key wrap encryption.
  • Tim McLean for implementing RFC 8037.
  • Josh Cummings from the Spring Security team for contributing the JWS minter framework and many other patches.
  • Cedric Staub for adding explicit JCA provider interfaces.
  • Toma Velev for implementing the JSON Smart shading in v9.0.
  • Ville Kurkinen for adding initial Maven support.
  • David Ortiz for initiating RSA encryption development.
  • Quan Nguyen, Google Information Security Engineer, Project Wycheproof, for reporting Padding Oracle and integer overflow vulnerabilities in AES/CBC/HMAC decryption.
  • Devin Cook of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) - Security Research Team.
  • Juraj Somorovsky for security related reviews, improvements and suggestions.
  • Antonio Sanso for his work in investigating invalid curve vulnerabilities in JOSE implementations.
  • Jürg Wullschleger and Markus Löwe for discovering StackOverflowError issues when parsing specially crafted JSON input and proposing suitable mitigations.
  • Jingcheng Yang and Jianjun Chen from Sichuan University and Zhongguancun Lab, for reporting a DoS vulnerability in the PBKDF2 decrypter.
  • Lai Xin Chu for initial work on JWE.
  • Wisgary Torres from the Microsoft Xbox team for important feedback and bug reports.
  • Brian Campbell for JWT thumbprint debugging.
  • CertiVox UK for supporting the library development.
  • Casey Lee for adding a Java 6 build profile.
  • Dimitar A. Stoikov on adding support for AES ciphers with internally generated IV.
  • Aleksei Doroganov for adding ES256P support based on secp256k1 ECDSA.
  • Peter Laurina for contributing RSA-OAEP-512 support.
  • Everyone on the JOSE WG at the IETF.
  • Numerous other contributors of bug reports, fixes and suggestions.