Question

For what security reasons does the API personal access token disappear after you generate them?

Posted January 26, 2017 2k views
API

Following tutorial on API personal access token states “Be sure to record your personal access token now. It will not be shown again, for security purposes.”

I am interested in why they disappear after generating them, what are the security reasons behind this behavior? Is it just because somebody could login using my digital ocean account and see the token?

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-use-the-digitalocean-api-v2

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2 answers

@kcarpenterlife

The API Token is a token that allows you to access the full API and execute any action that the API is capable of performing. This includes creating and destroying (droplets, backups, etc).

It should be treated as a password and stored securely as such. While it could easily be revoked, if it were exposed, it has the power to give anyone open access to your account using the API.

As for why it disappears, that’d be due to it’s password-like nature. You’re not able to recover account or root passwords when you forget them – you have to reset them or have one mailed to you. The API tokens are the same way. If you lose it, you simply delete the old and generate a new.

Because it’s just as powerful as your password and is most likely stored in hashed form.

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