SiRP : Secure (interoperable) Remote Password Authentication

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This is a pure Ruby implementation of the Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP-6a), which is a 'zero-knowledge' mutual authentication system.

SRP is an protocol that allows for mutual authentication of a client and server over an insecure network connection without revealing the password to the server or an eavesdropper. If the client lacks the user's password, or the server lacks the proper verification key, the authentication will fail. This approach is much more secure than the vast majority of authentication systems in common use since the password is never sent over the wire. The password is impossible to intercept, or to be revealed in a server breach, unless the verifier can be reversed. Since the verifier is derived from the password + salt through cryptographic one-way hash functions and Modular Exponentiation. Attacking the verifier to retrieve a password would be of similar difficulty as deriving a private encryption key from its public key. Extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Unlike other common challenge-response authentication protocols, such as Kerberos and SSL, SRP does not rely on an external infrastructure of trusted key servers or complex certificate management.

At the end of the authentication process both the client and the server will have negotiated a shared strong encryption key suitable for encrypted session communications. This key is negotiated through a modified Diffie-Hellman key exchange and the key is never sent over the wire.

SiRP is designed to be interoperable with a Ruby client and server, or with Ruby on the server side, and the JSRP Javascript client running in a browser.

Live Demo

You can try out an interactive demo at

Demo Source Code @ grempe/sirp-demo


There is pretty extensive inline documentation. You can view the latest API docs at

You can check my documentation quality score at

Supported Platforms

SiRP is continuously integration tested on the versions of MRI Ruby found in the .travis.yml file.

This may work with other Ruby versions, but they are not supported.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'sirp', '~> 2.0'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install sirp


This implementation has been tested for compatibility with the following SRP-6a compliant third-party libraries:

JSRP / JavaScript

SRP-6a Protocol Design

Extracted from

SRP is the newest addition to a new class of strong authentication protocols
that resist all the well-known passive and active attacks over the network.
SRP borrows some elements from other key-exchange and identification protcols
and adds some subtle modifications and refinements. The result is a protocol
that preserves the strength and efficiency of the EKE family protocols while
fixing some of their shortcomings.

The following is a description of SRP-6 and 6a, the latest versions of SRP:

  N    A large safe prime (N = 2q+1, where q is prime)
       All arithmetic is done modulo N.
  g    A generator modulo N
  k    Multiplier parameter (k = H(N, g) in SRP-6a, k = 3 for legacy SRP-6)
  s    User's salt
  I    Username
  p    Cleartext Password
  H()  One-way hash function
  ^    (Modular) Exponentiation
  u    Random scrambling parameter
  a,b  Secret ephemeral values
  A,B  Public ephemeral values
  x    Private key (derived from p and s)
  v    Password verifier

The host stores passwords using the following formula:

  x = H(s, p)               (s is chosen randomly)
  v = g^x                   (computes password verifier)

The host then keeps {I, s, v} in its password database. The authentication
protocol itself goes as follows:

User -> Host:  I, A = g^a                  (identifies self, a = random number)
Host -> User:  s, B = kv + g^b             (sends salt, b = random number)

        Both:  u = H(A, B)

        User:  x = H(s, p)                 (user enters password)
        User:  S = (B - kg^x) ^ (a + ux)   (computes session key)
        User:  K = H(S)

        Host:  S = (Av^u) ^ b              (computes session key)
        Host:  K = H(S)

Now the two parties have a shared, strong session key K. To complete
authentication, they need to prove to each other that their keys match.
One possible way:

User -> Host:  M = H(H(N) xor H(g), H(I), s, A, B, K)
Host -> User:  H(A, M, K)

The two parties also employ the following safeguards:

* The user will abort if he receives B == 0 (mod N) or u == 0.
* The host will abort if it detects that A == 0 (mod N).
* The user must show his proof of K first. If the server detects that the
user's proof is incorrect, it must abort without showing its own proof of K.

Usage Example

In this example the client and server steps are interleaved for demonstration purposes. See the grempe/sirp-demo repository for working sample code and a live demo. The phases of authentication in this example are delineated by the HTTPS request/response between client and server. The concept of 'phases' is something noted here for convenience. The specification makes no mention of phases since it is implementation specific.

This example is useful for showing the ordering and arguments in the public API and is not intended to be a 'copy & paste' code sample since the client and server interaction is something left up to the implementer and likely different in every case.

require 'sirp'

username     = 'user'
password     = 'password'
prime_length = 2048

# ~~~ Phase 0 : User Registration ~~~

# One time only! SRP is a form of TOFU (Trust On First Use) authentication
# where all is predicated on the client being able to register a verifier
# with the server upon initial registration. The server promises in turn to
# keep this verifier secret and never reveal it. If this first interaction
# is compromised then all is lost. If the verifier is revealed then there
# is a theoretical attack on the verifier which could reveal information
# about the password. It is likely cryptographically difficult though.
# It is important that the username and password combination be of
# high entropy.

# The salt and verifier should be persisted server-side, accessible by
# looking up via the username. The server must protect the verifier but
# will return the salt to any party requesting authentication who knows
# the username.

@auth =, password)
# => {username: '...', verifier: '...', salt: '...'}

# ~~~ Phase 1 : Challenge/Response ~~~

client =
A = client.start_authentication

# HTTPS POST Client => Server: request includes 'username' and  'A'

# Server retrieves user's verifier and salt from the database by
# looking up these values indexed by 'username'. Here simulated
# by using the @auth hash directly.
v    = @auth[:verifier]
salt = @auth[:salt]

# Server generates a challenge for the client and a proof it will require
# in Phase 2 of the auth process. The challenge is given to the client, the
# proof is temporarily persisted.
verifier =
session = verifier.get_challenge_and_proof(username, v, salt, A)

# Server has to persist proof to authenticate the client response later.
@proof = session[:proof]

# Server sends the challenge containing salt and B to client.
response = session[:challenge]

# HTTPS Server => Client: response includes 'salt', and 'B'

# ~~~ Phase 2 : Continue Authentication ~~~

# Client calculates M as a response to the challenge using the
# username and password and the server provided 'salt' and 'B'.
client_M = client.process_challenge(username, password, salt, B)

# HTTPS POST Client => Server: request includes 'username', and 'M'

# Instantiate a new verifier on the server.
verifier =

# Verify challenge response M against the Verifier proof stored earlier.
# server_H_AMK returned will be 'false' if verification failed.
server_H_AMK = verifier.verify_session(@proof, client_M)

# At this point, the client and server should have a common session key (K)
# that is secure and unknown to any outside party. Before they can safely use
# it though they must prove to each other that their keys are identical by
# exchanging a hash H(A,M,K). This step allows both client and server to be
# certain they arrived at the same values independently.

# The server sends a response based on the results of verify_session.

if server_H_AMK
  # HTTPS Server => Client: response includes server_H_AMK
  # Do NOT include the server_H_AMK in the response.
  # HTTPS Server => Client: 401 Unauthorized

# The client compares server_H_AMK response to its own calculated H(A,M,K).

if client.verify(server_H_AMK)
  ####  SUCCESS ####
  # Client and server have mutually authenticated.
  # Optional : Use this secret key to derive shared encryption keys for some
  # other application specific use.
  secret_key = client.K


This gem is a fork of the lamikae/srp-rb repository created by Mikael Lammentausta @lamikae. Significant changes were needed for my use-case which demanded breaking changes for the sake of greater interoperability. With these factors in mind, a hard fork seemed the most appropriate path to take. Much credit is due to Mikael for his original implementation.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run bundle exec rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install.

The formal release process can be found in


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.

(c) 2016 Glenn Rempe <[email protected]> (

(c) 2012 Mikael Lammentausta


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License.


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the LICENSE.txt file for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.