The URL authentication feature can help you protect resources on your origin server from unauthorized downloads and access. CDN supports three types of URL authentication. This topic describes the principle of URL authentication type A and provides an example.

How it works

A URL is signed in the following format:
The following table describes the fields in a signed URL.
Parameter Description
DomainName The domain name of the CDN node.
Filename The actual URL that points to the requested resource on the origin server. The FileName field must start with a forward slash (/).
auth_key The cryptographic key that you have set.
timestamp The expiration date of the cryptographic key. The value is a 10-digit positive integer. It specifies the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 Thursday, 1 January 1970 plus the time-to-live (TTL) value of the cryptographic key. The TTL of the cryptographic key is set on the client. If it is set to 1,800 seconds, the cryptographic key expires 1,800 seconds after you connect to the CDN node.

For example, if you set the connection time to 2020-08-15 15:00:00, the cryptographic key expires at 2020-08-15 15:30:00.

rand The random number. The number must not contain hyphens (-). Example: 477b3bbc253f467b8def6711128c7bec. We recommend that you use a UUID.
uid The user ID. Set this field to 0.
md5hash The string calculated by using the MD5 algorithm. It must be 32 characters in length and can contain digits and lowercase letters.
When a CDN node receives a request, it determines whether the sum of the timestamp plus the TTL of the cryptographic key in the request is earlier than the current time.
  • If the sum of the timestamp plus the TTL of the cryptographic key is earlier than the current time, the CDN node determines that the cryptographic key expires and returns a 403 error.
  • If the sum of the timestamp plus the validity period of the cryptographic key is later than the current time, the CDN node generates a string in the same format as the sstring string. It then uses the MD5 algorithm to calculate the HashValue, and compares it with the md5hash in the request.
    • If they are the same, the authentication succeeds. The CDN node returns the requested resource.
    • If they are different, the authentication fails. The CDN node returns a 403 error.
    The HashValue is calculated based on the following string:
    sstring = "URI-Timestamp-rand-uid-PrivateKey". The URI specifies the address that points to the requested resource. It does not contain parameters such as /Filename.
    HashValue = md5sum(sstring)


The following example shows how to implement type-A authentication.
  1. Request the resource through req_auth.
  2. Set the cryptographic key to aliyuncdnexp1234.
  3. Set the expiration date of the authentication configuration file to 2015-10-10 00:00:00. Then, the validity period is 1,444,435,200 seconds.
  4. The CDN node generates a signature string to calculate the HashValue.
  5. The CDN node calculates the HashValue based on the signature string.
    HashValue = md5sum("/video/standard/1K.html-1444435200-0-0-aliyuncdnexp1234") = 80cd3862d699b7118eed99103f2a3a4f
  6. Sign the request URL.

If the HashValue calculated by the CDN node is the same as the md5hash contained in the request (both are 80cd3862d699b7118eed99103f2a3a4f), the request passes the authentication. Otherwise, the authentication fails.