New in Symfony 6.2: Access Token Authenticator

Contributed by
Florent Morselli

in #46428.

Access tokens, also called bearer tokens, are defined in RFC6750 and are
popular when working with APIs. Any party in possession of an access token can
use it to get access to the associated resources. That’s why these tokens need
to be protected from disclosure in storage and in transport.

In Symfony 6.2 we’re adding a new authenticator which is able to fetch access
tokens and retrieve the associated user identifier. The new authenticator can
extract tokens from the request header (RFC6750 Section 2.1), the query string
(RFC6750 Section 2.2) and the request body (RFC6750 Section 2.3).

To use this authenticator, define a firewall in your application and add the
access_token option to it:

# config/packages/security.yaml
# …
pattern: ^/
token_handler: AppSecurityAccessTokenHandler

The token_handler option is the only mandatory option and defines the service
that will handle the token (e.g. validate it) to retrieve the user associated
to it. This service must implement AccessTokenHandlerInterface. For example:

// src/Security/AccessTokenHandler.php
namespace AppSecurity;

use AppRepositoryAccessTokenRepository;
use SymfonyComponentSecurityHttpAccessTokenAccessTokenHandlerInterface;

class AccessTokenHandler implements AccessTokenHandlerInterface
public function __construct(
private readonly SomeTokenRepository $repository,

public function getUserIdentifierFrom(string $token): string
$accessToken = $this->repository->findOneByValue($token);
if ($accessToken === null || !$accessToken->isValid()) {
throw new BadCredentialsException(‚Invalid credentials.‘);

return $accessToken->getUserId();

Inside your token handler you must validate the given token. For example, if you
use opaque tokens such as random strings stored in a database, check if they
exist in the database; if you use self-contained tokens such as JWT, SAML2, etc.
validate those according to their specs.

The new authenticator defines many config options which are explained in the
Symfony Documentation, such as restricting where to look for tokens in the request,
customizing the response for successful and failing authentication, etc.

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