Secure Spring REST API using Basic Authentication

What is Basic Authentication?

Basic Authentication provides a solution for this problem, although not very secure. With Basic Authentication, clients send it’s Base64 encoded credentials with each request, using HTTP [Authorization] header . That means each request is independent of other request and server may/does not maintain any state information for the client, which is good for scalability point of view.

Shown below is the sample code for preparing the header.

String plainClientCredentials="myusername:mypassword";
String base64ClientCredentials = new String(Base64.encodeBase64(plainClientCredentials.getBytes()));
HttpHeaders headers = getHeaders();
headers.add("Authorization", "Basic " + base64ClientCredentials);

which may in turn produce something like:

Authorization : Basic bXktdHJ1c3RlZC1jbGllbnQ6c2VjcmV0...

Basic Authentication & Spring Security

With two steps, you can enable the Basic Authentication in Spring Security Configuration.

  1. Configure httpBasic : Configures HTTP Basic authentication. [http-basic in XML]
  2. Configure authentication entry point with BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint : In case the Authentication fails [invalid/missing credentials], this entry point will get triggered. It is very important, because we don’t want [Spring Security default behavior] of redirecting to a login page on authentication failure [ We don’t have a login page].


  • BootSecurityApplication
  • SpringRestClient
# Authorization -> Basic Auth
admin, pass
# Body -> raw