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OAuth - Open API Authentication


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Tech talk about OAuth, and open standard for API authentication. Originally broadcast on

Published in: Technology

OAuth - Open API Authentication

  1. OAuth Basic Introduction
  2. What is OAuth? A simple open standard for secure API authentication.
  3. The Love Triangle End User Service Provider Consumer Application (fake applications by EHL)
  4. Specifically OAuth is... • Authentication Need to log in to access parts of a website ex: bookmark a link, post a photo, add a friend, view a private message • Token-based Authentication Logged-in user has a unique token used to access data from the site
  5. Similar to... • Flickr Auth • Google’s AuthSub • Yahoo’s BBAuth • Facebook Auth • and others...
  6. Who is involved?
  7. Goals: Be Simple • standard for website API authentication • consistent for developers • easy for users to understand * * this is hard
  8. Goals: Be Secure • secure for users • easy to implement security features for developers • balance security with ease of use
  9. Goals: Be Open • any website can implement OAuth • any developer can use OAuth • open source client libraries • published technical specifications
  10. Goals: Be Flexible • don’t need a username and password • authentication method agnostic • can use OpenID (or not!) • whatever works best for the web service • developers don’t need to handle auth
  11. What the end user sees... an example from ma.gnolia and nsyght.
  12. OMG! Need to login!
  13. Login with service provider
  14. Authorize
  15. Done!
  16. How Does OAuth Work? (for developers)
  17. Register a Consumer Application • Provide service provider with data about your application (name, creator, url etc...) • Service provider assigns consumer a consumer key and consumer secret • Service provider gives documentation of authorization URLs and methods
  18. Authorization Process 1. Obtain request token 2. User authorizes request token 3. Exchange request token for access token 4. Use access token to obtain protected resources
  19. OAuth Parameters • oauth_consumer_key • oauth_token • oauth_signature • oauth_signature_method • oauth_timestamp • oauth_nonce
  20. Where is this information passed? • HTTP Authorization header • HTTP POST request body (form params) • URL query string parameters
  21. Security • Tokens - aren’t passing username/password • Timestamp and nonce - verify unique requests • Signature - encrypted parameters help service provider recognize consumer • Signature methods - HMAC-SHA1, RSA- SHA1, Plaintext over a secure channel (such as SSL)
  22. Current Status of OAuth • • Auth Core 1.0 Draft 7 • several libraries Python, Ruby, Perl, C# ...) for consumers and service providers (PHP, • Ma.gnolia and Twitter implementations • more implementations soon!
  23. Thanks! Chris is still working on the logo...