Skip to main content

Hacking Twitter @Anywhere's authentication

OAuth logo
Twitter @Anywhere uses the @OAuth 2 draft (or at least some of it) for authentication and access so I started poking around to see what it supports.

First lets get an oauth_access_token. For OAuth 2 the oauth_access_tokens are short lived and will usually only be valid for a couple of hours. Visit (or any other @Anywhere enabled site) click on the "Follow @abraham on Twitter" button. This will create a popup where you will log into and connect with the @Anywhere application.

Twitter Anywhere authentication popup
@Anywhere authentication window

The @Anywhere application is now authorized to act on behalf of your Twitter application and there is an oauth_access_token in your browsers localStorage as twttr_anywhere. You can use the following JavaScript command to retrieve your oauth_access_token. It works in Google Chrome's built in console, Firebug's console in Firefox and I'm sure other browsers as well.

*Note that the oauth_access_token can be used by itself to act as your Twitter credentials so don't go slinging it around the internet.

Now you have the oauth_access_token what to do with it? Make HTTP request to over SSL.

What about POSTs? Yep those work too.

Now lets have a look at a method of getting the oauth_access_token that is similar the standard OAuth flow. Redirect a user to with three paramaters:

  • oauth_callback_url= - The domain and subdomain must be registered with the Twitter
  • oauth_mode=flow_web_client - Twitter should observe a browser redirect flow
  • oauth_client_identifier=9QR94sYuXI3j6XkYrr1Ybw - The application's @Anywhere API key

Once the user connects their account with they application they are returned to the oauth_callback_url with an oauth_access_token in the url fragment.

The fragment also contains an oauth_bridge_code which can be used to exchange the temporary 2.0 oauth_access_token for a long lasting 1.0 oauth_token. Subscribe to the RSS feed to get notified when that post is published.

Update: Checkout the post on using Twitter Anywhere bridge codes.

Keep in mind that:
  • OAuth 2 access tokens are short lived
  • OAuth 2 access tokens are all that is needed to read and write your accounts Twitter data
  • Anywhere was launched several months ago and the OAuth 2 spec has evolved a lot since then
  • This is an internal authentication method and likely to change in the future

Let me know what you think of OAuth 2 in the comments.

Popular posts from this blog

Sync is currently experiencing problems

Update: I now recommend you install Google Chrome and disable the built in Browser as it supports encrypting all synced data.

After picking up a gorgeous Galaxy Nexus yesterday I was running into an issue where my browser data wasn't syncing to the phone. After a little Googling I found this is commonly caused by having all of my synced Chrome data encrypted instead of the default of only encrypting the passwords. These are the steps I went through to get my dat syncing again without losing any of it. The exact error I was getting was "Sync is currently experiencing problems. It will be back shortly."

In Google Chrome open the personal stuff settings page by clicking this link or by opening the wrench menu, and click on "signed in with".  Hit "disconnect your Google Account" to temporarily disable syncing from your browser.

Visit the Google Dashboard and "Stop sync and delete data from Google". I waited until the stored dat…

Little known @Twitter and @TwitterAPI tips and tricks

Be sure to comeback as new tips and tricks get added. If you know of anything I missed be sure to let me know.

Static URL for profile images based on screen_name:

* This performs a http redirect to the actual profile image URL. Currently https redirects to http. You can also add "?size={mini | bigger | normal}" to get specific sizes.

Redirect to profile based on user_id:

In_reply_to_status_id mentions:

* In the web interface new mentions are only replies if they start with @screen_name. By pushing @screen_name further along in the string your followers who do not follow @screen_name will still see the status.

Profile image sizes:

* By default you get the original image size you can add _mini, _normal, and …

Can you activate a Moto G on Sprint?

Question: Can you activate a Moto G (3rd gen) on Sprint?
Answer: No.

TLDR: Don't use Sprint.

Having the unfortunateness of accidentally dropping and mostly obliterating a perfectly functional Nexus 5, my housemate was in need of a replacement ASAP. With solid specs and an amazing price tag (a mere $220) a Moto G (3rd gen) was high on my list of replacements. Considering the 2015 Nexus devices hadn't even been announced yet, it was pretty much the only option in that size range.

Moto was quick to ship and we skipped off to the Sprint store Moto G in hand to get it added to the existing service plan. I mean really, how hard could adding a phone be? Sadly it was all downhill from there...

Walking into Sprint there were a couple of people being helped or waiting to be helped but overly not very busy. Initially the service rep thought we wanted to transfer photos, data, etc from one device to another and said she could help us. After describing several times that we simply wanted the pl…