Flask-Security allows you to quickly add common security mechanisms to your Flask application. They include:

Session Based Authentication

Session based authentication is fulfilled entirely by the Flask-Login extension. Flask-Security handles the configuration of Flask-Login automatically based on a few of its own configuration values and uses Flask-Login’s alternative token feature for remembering users when their session has expired.

Role/Identity Based Access

Flask-Security implements very basic role management out of the box. This means that you can associate a high level role or multiple roles to any user. For instance, you may assign roles such as Admin, Editor, SuperUser, or a combination of said roles to a user. Access control is based on the role name and all roles should be uniquely named. This feature is implemented using the Flask-Principal extension. If you’d like to implement more granular access control, you can refer to the Flask-Principal documentation on this topic.

Password Hashing

Password hashing is enabled with passlib. Passwords are hashed with the bcrypt function by default but you can easily configure the hashing algorithm. You should always use an hashing algorithm in your production environment. You may also specify to use HMAC with a configured salt value in addition to the algorithm chosen. Bear in mind passlib does not assume which algorithm you will choose and may require additional libraries to be installed.

Basic HTTP Authentication

Basic HTTP authentication is achievable using a simple view method decorator. This feature expects the incoming authentication information to identify a user in the system. This means that the username must be equal to their email address.

Token Authentication

Token based authentication is enabled by retrieving the user auth token by performing an HTTP POST with the authentication details as JSON data against the authentication endpoint. A successful call to this endpoint will return the user’s ID and their authentication token. This token can be used in subsequent requests to protected resources. The auth token is supplied in the request through an HTTP header or query string parameter. By default the HTTP header name is Authentication-Token and the default query string parameter name is auth_token. Authentication tokens are generated using the user’s password. Thus if the user changes his or her password their existing authentication token will become invalid. A new token will need to be retrieved using the user’s new password.

Email Confirmation

If desired you can require that new users confirm their email address. Flask-Security will send an email message to any new users with a confirmation link. Upon navigating to the confirmation link, the user will be automatically logged in. There is also view for resending a confirmation link to a given email if the user happens to try to use an expired token or has lost the previous email. Confirmation links can be configured to expire after a specified amount of time.

Password Reset/Recovery

Password reset and recovery is available for when a user forgets his or her password. Flask-Security sends an email to the user with a link to a view which they can reset their password. Once the password is reset they are automatically logged in and can use the new password from then on. Password reset links can be configured to expire after a specified amount of time.

User Registration

Flask-Security comes packaged with a basic user registration view. This view is very simple and new users need only supply an email address and their password. This view can be overridden if your registration process requires more fields.

Login Tracking

Flask-Security can, if configured, keep track of basic login events and statistics. They include:

  • Last login date
  • Current login date
  • Last login IP address
  • Current login IP address
  • Total login count

JSON/Ajax Support

Flask-Security supports JSON/Ajax requests where appropriate. Just remember that all endpoints require a CSRF token just like HTML views. More specifically JSON is supported for the following operations:

  • Login requests
  • Registration requests
  • Change password requests
  • Confirmation requests
  • Forgot password requests
  • Passwordless login requests

Command Line Interface

Basic Click commands for managing users and roles are automatically registered. They can be completely disabled or their names can be changed. Run flask --help and look for users and roles.