step crypto jwt verify – verify a signed JWT data structure and return the payload


step crypto jwt verify [–aud=audience] [–iss=issuer] [–alg=algorithm] [–key=path] [–jwks=jwks] [–kid=kid]


step crypto jwt verify reads a JWT data structure from STDIN; checks that the audience, issuer, and algorithm are in agreement with expectations; verifies the digital signature or message authentication code as appropriate; and outputs the decoded payload of the JWT on STDOUT. If verification fails a non-zero failure code is returned. If verification succeeds the command returns 0.

For a JWT to be verified successfully:

  • The JWT must be well formed (no errors during deserialization)
  • The algorithm must match the “alg” member in the JWT header
  • The issuer and audience must match the “iss” and “aud” claims in the JWT, respectively
  • The kid must match the “kid” member in the JWT header (if both are present) and must match the “kid” in the JWK or the “kid” of one of the JWKs in JWKS
  • The JWT signature must be successfully verified
  • The JWT must not be expired

For examples, see step help crypto jwt.


–iss=issuer, –issuer=issuer
The issuer of this JWT. The issuer must match the value of the “iss” claim in the JWT. issuer is a case-sensitive string. Required unless disabled with the –subtle flag.
–aud=audience, –audience=audience
The identity of the principal running this command. The audience specified must match one of the values in the “aud” claim, indicating the intended recipient(s) of the JWT. audience is a case-sensitive string. Required unless disabled with the –subtle flag.
–alg=algorithm, –algorithm=algorithm
The signature or MAC algorithm to use. Algorithms are case-sensitive strings defined in RFC7518. If the key used do verify the JWT is not a JWK, or if it is a JWK but does not have an “alg” member indicating its the intended algorithm for use with the key, then the –alg flag is required to prevent algorithm downgrade attacks. To disable this protection you can pass the –insecure flag and omit the –alg flag.
The path to the key to use to verify the JWT. The contents of the file can be a public or private JWK (or a JWK encrypted as a JWE payload) or a public or private PEM (or a private key encrypted using the modes described on RFC 1423 or with PBES2+PBKDF2 described in RFC 2898).
The JWK Set containing the key to use to verify the JWS. The jwks argument should be the name of a file. The file contents should be a JWK Set or a JWE with a JWK Set payload. The JWS being verified should have a “kid” member that matches the “kid” of one of the JWKs in the JWK Set. If the JWS does not have a “kid” member the ‘–kid’ flag can be used.
The ID of the key used to sign the JWK, used to select a JWK from a JWK Set. The KID argument is a case-sensitive string. If the input JWS has a “kid” member its value must match kid or verification will fail.
The path to the file containing the password to decrypt the key.