Dennis Jakobsen Dennis Jakobsen - 3 months ago 37
C# Question

AWS S3 browser upload using HTTP POST gives invalid signature

I'm working on a website where the users should be able to upload video files to AWS. In order to avoid unnecessary traffic I would like the user to upload directly to AWS (and not through the API server). In order to not expose my secret key in the JavaScript I'm trying to generate a signature in the API. It does, however, tell me when I try to upload, that the signature does not match.

For signature generation I have been using

On the backend I'm running C#.

I generate the signature using

string policy = $@"{{""expiration"":""{expiration}"",""conditions"":[{{""bucket"":""dennisjakobsentestbucket""}},[""starts-with"",""$key"",""""],{{""acl"":""private""}},[""starts-with"",""$Content-Type"",""""],{{""x-amz-algorithm"":""AWS4-HMAC-SHA256""}}]}}";

which generates the following


based on (I base64 encode the policy). I have tried to keep it very simple, just as a starting point.

For generating the signature, I use code found on the AWS site.

static byte[] HmacSHA256(String data, byte[] key)
String algorithm = "HmacSHA256";
KeyedHashAlgorithm kha = KeyedHashAlgorithm.Create(algorithm);
kha.Key = key;

return kha.ComputeHash(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(data));

static byte[] GetSignatureKey(String key, String dateStamp, String regionName, String serviceName)
byte[] kSecret = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(("AWS4" + key).ToCharArray());
byte[] kDate = HmacSHA256(dateStamp, kSecret);
byte[] kRegion = HmacSHA256(regionName, kDate);
byte[] kService = HmacSHA256(serviceName, kRegion);
byte[] kSigning = HmacSHA256("aws4_request", kService);

return kSigning;

Which I use like this:

byte[] signingKey = GetSignatureKey(appSettings["aws:SecretKey"], dateString, appSettings["aws:Region"], "s3");
byte[] signature = HmacSHA256(encodedPolicy, signingKey);

where dateString is on the format yyyymmdd

I POST information from JavaScript using

let xmlHttpRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
let formData = new FormData();
formData.append("key", "<path-to-upload-location>");
formData.append("acl", signature.acl); // private
formData.append("Content-Type", "$Content-Type");
formData.append("AWSAccessKeyId", signature.accessKey);
formData.append("policy", signature.policy); //base64 of policy
formData.append("x-amz-credential", signature.credentials); // <accesskey>/20161126/eu-west-1/s3/aws4_request
formData.append("x-amz-algorithm", "AWS4-HMAC-SHA256");
formData.append("Signature", signature.signature);
formData.append("file", file);"post", "http://<bucketname>");

I have been using UTF8 everywhere as prescribed by AWS. In their examples the signature is on a hex format, which I have tried as well.
No matter what I try I get an error 403

The request signature we calculated does not match the signature you provided. Check your key and signing method.

My policy on AWS has "s3:Get*", "s3:Put*"

Am I missing something or does it just work completely different than what I expect?

Edit: The answer below is one of the steps. The other is that AWS distinguish between upper and lowercase hex strings. 0xFF != 0xff in the eyes of AWS. They want the signature in all lowercase.


You are generating the signature using Signature Version 4, but you are constructing the form as though you were using Signature Version 2... well, sort of.

formData.append("AWSAccessKeyId", signature.accessKey);

That's V2. It shouldn't be here at all.

formData.append("x-amz-credential", signature.credentials); // <accesskey>/20161126/eu-west-1/s3/aws4_request

This is V4. Note the redundant submission of the AWS Access Key ID here and above. This one is probably correct, although the examples have capitalization like X-Amz-Credential.

formData.append("x-amz-algorithm", "AWS4-HMAC-SHA256");

That is also correct, except it may need to be X-Amz-Algorithm. (The example seems to imply that capitalization is ignored).

formData.append("Signature", signature.signature);

This one is incorrect. This should be X-Amz-Signature. V4 signatures are hex, so that is what you should have here. V2 signatures are base64.

There's a full V4 example here, which even provides you with an example aws key and secret, date, region, bucket name, etc., that you can use with your code to verify that you indeed get the same response. The form won't actually work but the important question is whether your code can generate the same form, policy, and signature.

For any given request, there is only ever exactly one correct signature; however, for any given policy, there may be more than one valid JSON encoding (due to JSON's flexibility with whitespace) -- but for any given JSON encoding there is only one possible valid base64-encoding of the policy. This means that your code, using the example data, is certified as working correctly if it generates exactly the same form and signature as shown in the example -- and it means that your code is proven invalid if it generates the same form and policy with a different signature -- but there is a third possibility: the test actually proves nothing conclusive about your code if your code generates a different base64 encoding of the policy, because that will necessarily change the signature to not match, yet might still be a valid policy.

Note that Signature V2 is only suported on older S3 regions, while Signature V4 is supported by all S3 regions, so, even though you could alternately fix this by making your entire signing process use V2, that wouldn't be recommended.

Note also that The request signature we calculated does not match the signature you provided. Check your key and signing method does not tell you anything about whether the bucket policy or any users policies allow or deny the request. This error is not a permissions error. It will be thrown prior to the permissions checks, based solely on the validity of the signature, not whether the AWS Access Key id is authorized to perform the requested operation, which is something that is only tested after the signature is validated.