Auth0 blocked me from logging in

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

To my surprise after writing a simple example which deals with Auth0 login I got blocked from logging into it.

Update 2020-02-22

The issue resolved itself roughly after a week since it appeared. Ticket request could only be opened on a paid account therefore I went to twitter where I got a response from @Auth0Community albeit they could not do anything to help me.

It was a total mystery, no logs, settings are in order. Most importantly it works again.

Sequence of events

Just after New Years Eve in the very beginnings of 2020 I did create a new account on Auth0. It was meant to be used for examples I was developing: React and Springboot. It was also a free account, there was no credit card involved.

I did finish my React example on GitHub, used Auth0 code samples that were then slightly improved. Source code was published to GitHub pages. It contained required credentials of my newly created tenant on Auth0 side.

Login/Signup initially worked for me as expected. Implementation was not my first example of login but rather a timesaver for myself and other developers who would want to just fork it for a new React project.

In addition to having just code somewhere in the repository a simple blog post was also published - “Auth0 authentication in a React website”.

Everything was working expected on a published live example. Until I happened to check it again after couple of weeks.

What failed

Once I tried to login the app just sat there waiting for something. Immediately I thought it was my crap React code, maybe there is a bug or something. My imagination could not blame Auth0 for that - I am using that stuff in production.

  • Double checked internet connection - all good.
  • Double checked for any runtime errors - all good.
  • Double checked Auth0 configuration - all good.
  • There was an update available in Auth0 dependency - updated that.
  • Cleared cache.
  • Read about changes in session cookie handling - why not that, right?
  • Checked if there are any logs in Auth0 dashboard - empty.

Finally my clinginess to various conspiracy theories ended up with an obvious hint - I’ve been a bad boy and I got blocked. Well I did not do anything terrible recently but wanted to check that basic assumption. And BINGO. Typed in my /authorize endpoint into downforeveryoneorjustme.com and got the answer that I have no access to it. Anymore.

Freemium madness

In the world of Freemium you learn to fix your own stuff as there is no customer support. I did attempt exactly that - went through all the bits in Auth0 dashboard searching for that magic button. Nothing, not a slightest hint to which IPs are blocked. Cannot even imagine how would I feel if that was a customer in production.

Another trouble was an upcoming backend example which is far more complicated than React implementation, but there is an expectation of existing functioning website that uses JWT tokens obtained from Auth0. I could not continue working on backend until a login block was lifted.

Getting some answers

At this point the levels of anxiety were going through the roof. I had to get some answers before refactoring my production servers to use another authentication provider.

Support tickets

“Support Tickets” is a thing in their “Support center” but only for paid members which meant that I needed to post in their forums for someone to come back with an answer. Well I knew that my IP was blocked somehow so posting that in a forum does not really help you.

Twitter

This social media platform is a great place to vent your anger and frustration so why not? After finding their handle @auth0 a public tweet full of frustration was sent. It is not the prettiest use of language I must agree, but anxiety was making a toll.

To my surprise responses were quick, but unfortunately they are not quick enough. More like email reply quick.

Summary

Still I am blocked and nobody cares.

  • Think twice before using third party auth provider in production.
  • Freemium has its limits.
  • Play with other auth providers - do not lock in. Otherwise you’ll think this sort of issue is normal.
  • Write publicly about similar issues.
  • Auth0 definitely has some issues. Issues that could cost you customers and you would not even know they were blocked.
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