Tagged Questions

a multi factor authentication requires at least two sets of credentials. This is typically something you know (e. g. a password) and something you own (e. g. a token generator or mobile phone)

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6
votes
2answers
354 views

Do keyfiles actually add any meaningful security in the presence of strong passwords?

In the context of protecting access to local encrypted files or devices against a determined (and competent) adversary, is there any reason to believe that the use of a key file actually presents a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I block LinkedIn from extracting data from Microsoft Exchange Server?

LinkedIn now offers the ability to take a real user and password from the end user and connect to Exchange Server for the purpose of importing contacts into their system. (To do this yourself, click ...
2
votes
1answer
519 views

Is TextKey SMS 2 factor authentication secure against cell phone cloning?

I came across this website today that implements SMS based authentication that works "opposite" most SMS authentication methods. In typical SMS authentication, the provider sends you an access code ...
16
votes
2answers
470 views

Mitigating the loss of a mobile phone used for second-factor login

Take the following scenario: John is using GMail for his primary email account and LastPass as his password management system. Both of these accounts are using the Google Authenticator mobile ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What are the ways to implement two factor authentication?

We have devices that can generate tokens. So we can use tokens with passwords to perform two factor authentication. There are many ways to implement such systems to enhance security. One of two I ...
9
votes
6answers
717 views

Is there multi-factor authentication for machines?

Most of what I have seen on mutiifactor authentication (eg wikipedia or here on se) seems human centric. Ie it is a human interacting with a machine and the factors are associated with authenticating ...
2
votes
1answer
377 views

What is more secure for voice and SMS OTP: A random number or generated similar to HOTP?

Many providers are creating OTP authentication for their sign in. However I noticed that all the voice and SMS OTPs I've come across are a series of 6 digits... similar to the HOTP RFC Standard ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the risk and mitigation of accidentally typing a YubiKey password in an open forum?

I have a YubiKey in my laptop (for testing) and accidentally broadcast my YubiKey password out to the Internet. Since this is only a test key, and has no access to anything of value, here are some ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Options for simple phone verification with pin delivery

My website needs to verify phone numbers in order to ensure that customers claiming a business actually work there. The service calls and gives the customer a pin which they put into the site. Many ...
10
votes
3answers
370 views

If multi factor authentication is enabled, how should that affect self-service password reset?

Given that security is only as secure as its weakest link, suppose I have website with additional authentication enabled in any of these ways: (example, multiple conditions may be required) ...
-1
votes
1answer
220 views

Does PayPal support a backup code for two-factor auth? [closed]

Google and DropBox have backup codes in case you can't get access to one of the devices you have registered. Does PayPal have a backup code?
5
votes
1answer
313 views

How safe is “trust this computer” option for websites?

Many sites have a "trust this computer" option that allows one to bypass some security measures (ex.: with Google's 2-step authentication enabled, one does not need to enter the phone's code if the ...
4
votes
5answers
269 views

When should I issue more than one multi-factor device to a user? Is it OK to give several active tokens vs none at all?

Most of the conventional IT.Sec thinking I've seen says that a user can only have one multi factor authentication device. I'd like to challenge that defacto-thinking and ask if there is ever an ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

How to solve race condition in 2-factor authentication solutions like RSA Security tokens or Google Authenticator?

One of the reasons we opt to use 2-factor authentication is to minimize the impact of keyloggers. The theory is that even if an attacker is able to observe the user type in the token numbers, they ...
4
votes
1answer
456 views

Can I re-use another vendor's dual factor token in my own system? (Avoid physical token bloat)

I read the open source multifactor authentication techniques called HOTP RFC 4226 and TOTP RFC 6238 and realized that a single random number is the basis for the token's cryptography... and that this ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Should the serial number of multi factor devices be removed?

I'm trying to understand the relationship between the serial number of a multi factor device and the cryptographic material behind it. I don't want to blindly assume that the serial number is just ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it secure to install RSA SecurID Software Tokens on the same computer that will be used to access the VPN?

My office switched from using the old hardware RSA SecurID key tokens to the RSA SecurID Software Tokens and most users have them installed on the same machines they use to access the VPN. I asked ...
1
vote
1answer
559 views

How does the YubiKey Validation Server work from an encryption perspective?

Many YubiKey servers rely on the free cloud hosted authentication that comes with the product, but I'm interested in keeping all cryptographic material in my control. For that reason I am looking at ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Which SSH security is stronger? 2 Factor or Public key

For SSH authentication, which is more secure? 2 Factor Authentication using a USB token/Google Authenticator(time based) OR Public/private key with password Or could they be both used at the same ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What physical, electronic, and software characteristics are important in a smart card?

I'm evaluating smart card readers to store a number of private keys, but don't know where to start. What criteria is important regarding smart cards and preventing the extraction or unauthorized used ...
14
votes
3answers
850 views

Do any DNS registrars support multi factor authentication?

I am looking for a DNS registrar that supports strong multi-factor authentication. Does any DNS registrar support multi-factor? Is this a legitimate need?
6
votes
5answers
651 views

Is behavioural analysis (e.g. keystroke dynamics) a reliable security mechanism for MFA?

The typical set of multi-factor categories is as follows: Something you know (e.g. a password) Something you have (e.g. a hardware token, or key file) Something you are (e.g. a fingerprint or retina ...
6
votes
2answers
793 views

Does having a passphrase and SSH key qualify as two factor authentication for PCI?

I am working on getting our company's servers PCI SAQ-C compliant (credit card data passes through our system but is not stored by our system). We have SSH access to administer the servers and all ...
2
votes
1answer
526 views

Is Dual Factor possible during boot with whole disk encryption on Mac FileVault 2

Mac FileVault 2 is the default disk encryption for newer Macs that occurs in the EFI pre-boot phase. The challenge here is that most smartcard drivers are loaded after the OS loads. Is anyone aware ...
4
votes
3answers
699 views

Two-Factor Authentication: When is it worth it?

I was reading this article, and it triggered the question: Why not use two factor authentication? In his case, it both possibilities were enabled anyway, so this looks to me like it's two attack ...
18
votes
3answers
13k views

How does HSBC's “Secure Key” actually work?

My bank has recently sent me a Digipass/Secure Key, which looks like a tiny calculator. You press the green button to turn it on, type a PIN to unlock it, then press the green button again to generate ...
24
votes
11answers
2k views

Is it safe to use a weak password as long as I have two-factor authentication?

I'm careful to use strong passwords (according to How Big is Your Haystack, my passwords would take a massive cracking array 1.5 million centuries to crack), I don't reuse passwords across sites, and ...
7
votes
6answers
904 views

POP3/IMAP Stronger Authentication

We recently deployed a two-factor-authentication solution in order to strength logon to our web applications (one of them is web based mail, Microsoft outlook web access) Most of the users who have ...
4
votes
4answers
751 views

SMS Authentication: random OTP or a cryptographic one

I'm adding two-factor authentication using SMS to enhance an existing login process. Since I'm not working with physical tokens, I was wondering what is considered the safest: Sending random 8 ...
3
votes
3answers
208 views

Is multi-factor authentication supported by any current bios?

Is multi-factor authentication supported by any current bios'es? Update What I want to do is to make it impossible to go into the bios setup without both a password and another factor. It would ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I protect my Gmail account when accessing it via an Android smartphone?

I have a Gmail account that I also access via an Android smartphone. The mail account could be used to reset passwords for other online accounts, so I want to tighten up the security around this ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

What is a Yubi key and how does it work?

How do Yubi keys work? Are there any alternatives?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Which cross-platform password managers support encryption using a hardware token?

I am looking for a really secure password manager and I really like the fact that Password Safe supports encryption/decryption using a Yubikey programmed in challenge-response mode. Read more here: ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Is tokenless (specifically SMS) 2FA a security compromise over OTP tokens?

I've been looking into the various pros/cons of tokenless (particularly SMS based) and traditional token based two-factor authentication (think RSA SecurID). After doing some research, I think I have ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Full disk encryption and multi-factor authentication

All serious full disk encryption schemes I have looked into use a static password for authentication. For example, TrueCrypt supports two-factor authentication with keyfiles, but not for system ...
4
votes
5answers
776 views

Do any organizations use Smart Cards other than the military?

The military's Common Access Card (CAC) seems legit. Do other companies/organizations employ their use? If not, why? UPDATE What are the pros/cons of smart cards, compared to other methods?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How does multi factor authentication modify the AD authentication process?

I'm trying to understand what would have to be updated to make Windows-based systems support multifactor authentication. Possible things that might have to be modified: Active Directory / Domain ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Should the email server/application be protected by 2 factor authentication? What applications should be protected?

When should email be protected by 2 factor authentication? Suppose a given company is in an industry where two factor authentication is offered to some or all of its clients. Does this mean that it ...
0
votes
1answer
303 views

What regulations *require* multi-factor authentication?

Just the straightforward question: What industries require multi-factor authentication? Please include the following information Country Industry Regulation name Additional information as you ...
2
votes
2answers
420 views

Restrict user login to a specific machine

How do you restrict user access to a corporate web site to a particular machine ? including the following conditions : Each user is meant to use his credentials ONLY from the assigned machine. The ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Synchronous and Asynchronous physical security tokens: which is stronger? pros/cons?

I'm thinking about the differences between physical authentication tokens such as RSA's synchronous physical tokens or asynchronous challenge/response, like Google's gmail direct-to-phone codes. At ...
4
votes
1answer
465 views

How many authentication factors are there?

The three classes that we all know and love: Something you know. Something you have. Something you are. I've also seen references to "somewhere you are". Is this really a fourth factor? How many ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

How to implement multi factor authentication using a token generator?

I'd like to implement multi factor authentication on a few projects. Now the first factor would be username and password, for the second factor I would like to use a token generator. These tokens ...
4
votes
3answers
237 views

How to evaluate different solutions for security tokens?

According to my own experience, most companies selling security tokens for authentication like RSA, Verisign or Aladdin share little information about the internals of their products like algorithms ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

Why do we even use passwords / passphrases next to biometrics?

In the last couple of days there were a lot of talking about passwords and passphrases, not only here, but on several blogs and forums I follow (especially after XKCD #936 saw the light of this ...
15
votes
5answers
820 views

Safe way to authenticate (multi-factor authentication?) while being monitored?

(I'm trying for a bit more precise answer, particularly with regard to multi-factor authentication, than I received for "Safe way to use a computer that has spyware/keylogger installed?" on SU.) ...
15
votes
5answers
895 views

Does two factor authentication prevent social engineering attacks

After reading this article from symantec I got to think how much all these social engineering techniques rely on the authentication system of users, a password. Considering three different additional ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Three-Factor Authentication for Windows

This HowToGeek article... http://www.howtogeek.com/67556/how-to-unlock-your-pc-by-being-nearby-with-a-bluetooth-phone/ ...got me thinking. Is there any software (or combination of software) that ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

How is “something you have” typically defined for “two-factor” authentication?

A wide range of products claim to offer "two-factor authentication" (c.v. Two-factor authentication - Wikipedia). Most are deployed as "something you have" to be used in addition to a normal password ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How does LastPass' grid multi-factor authentication work behind the scenes?

I understand how to use the Grid multi-factor authentication as a user but how does it work technically? Specifically how can just a few letters from the grid be enough to decrypt any secret defined ...