How to Secure and Verify Stripe Webhooks with Hookdeck

Author picture Rodriq Jaro

How to Secure and Verify Stripe Webhooks with Hookdeck

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Webhook security and verification are critical components in assuring the security and integrity of your financial transactions. Stripe, a popular payment gateway, allows businesses to receive webhook notifications when specified events occur, such as successful payments or changes to customers’ actions or information. However, if these webhooks are not properly secured, they can be vulnerable to security threats such as fraud, replay attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and unauthorized access. Learn more about webhook security here.

As a developer, dealing with each platform’s webhook security implementation often leads to a lot of maintenance issues, especially when having to add and manage new providers. Hookdeck removes this layer of complexity by letting you manage all of them using Integrations, and then you only have to implement Hookdeck’s signature verification on your server(s).

In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up and configure your Stripe webhooks manually and with Hookdeck. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how Hookdeck can help secure your Stripe webhooks and protect your business from potential security threats.

How to manually secure Stripe webhooks

To manually secure your Stripe webhooks, you are required to perform the following steps:

  1. Obtain the endpoint secret from the Webhooks setting in the Dashboard.
  2. Extract the timestamp and signature from the Stripe-Signature header.
  3. Prepare the signed_payload string by concatenating the timestamp and the JSON payload.
  4. Determine the expected signature by computing the HMAC with SHA256 hash function using the endpoint's secret as the key and the signed_payload as the message.
  5. Compare the received signature to the expected signature and verify their equality.
  6. Check the difference between the received timestamp and the current time and make sure it is within the tolerance limit.
  7. Use a constant-time string comparison to compare the signatures to protect against timing attacks.

Learn more about verifying Stripe signatures here.

Verifying Stripe webhooks manually using the steps provided offers a secure solution for event validation. However, it also presents several challenges and difficulties, including implementation difficulties, compatibility issues, performance constraints, maintenance requirements, and the possibility of errors throughout the validation process. These factors must be considered before implementing a manual verification method to ensure a smooth and secure process.

How to secure and verify Stripe webhooks with Hookdeck

To verify your Stripe webhook notifications webhook with Hookdeck:

  1. Create a Hookdeck connection with Stripe as the source and your application as the destination.
  2. Create or select an existing Stripe webhook you wish to secure.
  3. Retrieve the endpoint’s secret from the dashboard.
  4. Navigate to Integrations from your Hookdeck dashboard.
  5. Select Stripe from the list of platforms.
  6. Fill in the Webhook Signing Secret as the secret gotten above.
  7. Select the Stripe source connection to secure.
  8. Confirm.

You can select multiple sources and secure them at once.

You now see the Stripe integration at the top of the integration page and the connection showing a green shield on the connection page.

Stripe-Hookdeck-Secure

Legitimate requests from Stripe get received successfully with a 200 status code, while any request without the signature is flagged with Failed verification and doesn’t make it to your destination.

Stripe failed verification

Hookdeck can be used to centralize your webhook security and verification, making it easy for you to only sign Hookdeck on your server. See the guide here.

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen why it is important to secure and verify Stripe webhooks, how manual verification can be complicated to handle, and the ease of implementation with Hookdeck.

In conclusion, using Hookdeck simplifies and streamlines the process of verifying Stripe webhooks, making it easier and more secure for developers to integrate quickly. By leveraging Hookdeck's automated verification process, you can be confident that you are accurately receiving and responding to Stripe webhook events without having to manually perform the time-consuming and complex steps involved in manual verification.