Twitter's own handling of keys varies. For example: Twitter for iOS has
the keys plaintext in the code. The iOS5 library actually doesn't store
them as plaintext, but encrypts the consumer key the same way as the
consumer secret, which still means it's easy because once you have the
consumer key (packet sniffing?) you'll know how to get the secret.
(Believe me, it's almost easier than that.)
Those are two examples of how NOT to do it.
I can give you these tips:
* Don't encode your consumer key or don't use the same algorithm as
the secret. The consumer key is supposed to be non-secret information as
it is also transmitted on the request. If you can get the decoded
version of the consumer key and the encoded version of the consumer key,
it's often easy to reverse-engineer the algorithm.
* Write your encryption in a "safe" language. For example, Objective-C
is *very* easy to use with a debugger. C++ however, is not. Write your
hashing code in C++ (hashing code: getting the secret all the way up to
doing the HMAC hash). Also try to avoid using system libraries for the
HMAC: preferably implement it yourself. This will make it harder as the
"attacker" won't know what to target.
Of course, these won't really work with opensource applications, as
everyone can get the keys. If you distribute your application under a
GPL license, there isn't much you can do, as you're forced to share the
code (which include the keys).
There are currently two options for OS projects I can think of :
* Route all your requests via an application on your server (the
TweetDeck way: just redirect api.tweetdeck.com to api.twitter.com but
sign the requests with your key. However: this *will* cause issues with
POST requests, so you'll have to handle those on your sever which may
cause some heavy load)
* Have your users register an application on dev.twitter.com/apps.
On 6/21/11 5:08 PM, Brian Remmington wrote:
What techniques are people using to keep their Twitter app's consumer
key and consumer secret, um, secret? What lengths are you going to to
make sure nasty people can't get at this information? I have a
particular problem in that I want my app to be open source - does
anyone have any experience of building open source apps that interact
with Twitter (or other services that use OAuth)? Thoughts?
Twitter developer documentation and resources: https://dev.twitter.com/doc
API updates via Twitter: https://twitter.com/twitterapi
Issues/Enhancements Tracker: https://code.google.com/p/twitter-api/issues/list
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