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When your Jenkins is secured, you can use HTTP BASIC authentication to authenticate remote API requests. See Authenticating scripted clients for more details.

CSRF Protection

Note: From Jenkins 2.96 onward, you can use an API token and avoid using a crumb / CSRF token.

If your Jenkins uses the "Prevent Cross Site Request Forgery exploits" security option (which it should), when you make a POST request, you have to send a CSRF protection token as an HTTP request header.
For curl/wget you can obtain the header needed in the request from the URL JENKINS_URL/crumbIssuer/api/xml (or .../api/json). Something like this:

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