Source Code

This is a step by step guide on how to receive webhooks from QStash in your Lambda function on AWS.

1. Create a new project

Let’s create a new folder called aws-lambda and initialize a new project by creating This example uses Makefile, but the scripts can also be written for Pipenv.

mkdir aws-lambda
cd aws-lambda

2. Dependencies

We are using PyJwt for decoding the JWT token in our code. We will install the package in the zipping stage.

3. Creating the handler function

In this example we will show how to receive a webhook from QStash and verify the signature.

First, let’s import everything we need:

import json
import os
import hmac
import hashlib
import base64
import time
import jwt

Now, we create the handler function. In the handler we will prepare all necessary variables that we need for verification. This includes the signature, the signing keys and the url of the lambda function. Then we try to verify the request using the current signing key and if that fails we will try the next one. If the signature could be verified, we can start processing the request.

def lambda_handler(event, context):

    # parse the inputs
    current_signing_key = os.environ['QSTASH_CURRENT_SIGNING_KEY']
    next_signing_key = os.environ['QSTASH_NEXT_SIGNING_KEY']

    headers = event['headers']
    signature = headers['upstash-signature']
    url = 'https://{}'.format(event['requestContext']['domainName'])
    body = None
    if 'body' in event:
        body = event['body']

    # check verification now
        verify(signature, current_signing_key, body, url)
    except Exception as e:
        print("Failed to verify signature with current signing key:", e)
            verify(signature, next_signing_key, body, url)
        except Exception as e2:
            return {
                "statusCode": 400,
                "body": json.dumps({
                    "error": str(e2),

    # Your logic here...

    return {
        "statusCode": 200,
        "body": json.dumps({
            "message": "ok",

The verify function will handle the actual verification of the signature. The signature itself is actually a JWT and includes claims about the request. See here.

# @param jwt_token - The content of the `upstash-signature` header
# @param signing_key - The signing key to use to verify the signature (Get it from Upstash Console)
# @param body - The raw body of the request
# @param url - The public URL of the lambda function
def verify(jwt_token, signing_key, body, url):
    split = jwt_token.split(".")
    if len(split) != 3:
        raise Exception("Invalid JWT.")

    header, payload, signature = split

    message = header + '.' + payload
    generated_signature = base64.urlsafe_b64encode(, 'utf-8'), bytes(message, 'utf-8'), digestmod=hashlib.sha256).digest()).decode()

    if generated_signature != signature and signature + "=" != generated_signature :
        raise Exception("Invalid JWT signature.")

    decoded = jwt.decode(jwt_token, options={"verify_signature": False})
    sub = decoded['sub']
    iss = decoded['iss']
    exp = decoded['exp']
    nbf = decoded['nbf']
    decoded_body = decoded['body']

    if iss != "Upstash":
        raise Exception("Invalid issuer: {}".format(iss))

    if sub != url:
        raise Exception("Invalid subject: {}".format(sub))

    now = time.time()
    if now > exp:
        raise Exception("Token has expired.")

    if now < nbf:
        raise Exception("Token is not yet valid.")

    if body != None:
        while decoded_body[-1] == "=":
            decoded_body = decoded_body[:-1]

        m = hashlib.sha256()
        m.update(bytes(body, 'utf-8'))
        m = m.digest()
        generated_hash = base64.urlsafe_b64encode(m).decode()

        if generated_hash != decoded_body and generated_hash != decoded_body + "=" :
                raise Exception("Body hash doesn't match.")

You can find the complete file here.

That’s it, now we can create the function on AWS and test it.

4. Create a Lambda function on AWS

Create a new Lambda function from scratch by going to the AWS console. (Make sure you select your desired region)

Give it a name and select Python 3.8 as runtime, then create the function.

Afterwards we will add a public URL to this lambda by going to the Configuration tab:

Select Auth Type = NONE because we are handling authentication ourselves.

After creating the url, you should see it on the right side of the overview of your function:

5. Set Environment Variables

Get your current and next signing key from the Upstash Console

On the same Configuration tab from earlier, we will now set the required environment variables:

6. Deploy your Lambda function

We need to bundle our code and zip it to deploy it to AWS.

Add the following script to your Makefile file (or corresponding pipenv script):

    rm -rf dist
	pip3 install --target ./dist pyjwt
	cp ./dist/
	cd dist && zip -r .
	mv ./dist/ ./

When calling make zip this will install PyJwt and zip the code.

Afterwards we can click the Upload from button in the lower right corner and deploy the code to AWS. Select as upload file.

7. Publish a message

Open a different terminal and publish a message to QStash. Note the destination url is the URL from step 4.

curl --request POST "" \
     -H "Authorization: Bearer <QSTASH_TOKEN>" \
     -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     -d "{ \"hello\": \"world\"}"

Next Steps

That’s it, you have successfully created a secure AWS lambda function, that receives and verifies incoming webhooks from qstash.

Learn more about publishing a message to qstash here