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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55
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6answers
6k views

Four-factor authentication

I'm sure you've all heard of two-factor/multi-factor authentication. Basically it comes down to these factors: Knowledge - something you know (e.g. password, PIN, pattern) Possession - something you ...
32
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2answers
2k views

Why does Google cripple the 2FA Google Authenticator PAM module?

If you enable 2FA for Google Apps the shared secret is 160 bits. The google_authenticator PAM module on the other hand seems to use 80 bits for the shared secret. According to RFC 4226: R6 - The ...
25
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 ...
25
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4answers
4k views

How secure are the FIDO U2F tokens

Google and Yubico just announced the availability of cryptographic security tokens following the FIDO U2F specification. Is this just another 2FA option, or is this significantly better than solutions ...
25
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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 ...
19
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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 ...
19
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4answers
1k views

Why use a Smartcard for (Two Factor) Auth instead of another medium?

I recently installed Bitlocker on my Windows 8.1 machine, using only a password. I was thinking of getting something other than just a password for my storage drive, something physical, like a USB, SD ...
19
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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 ...
19
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4answers
966 views

Biometric versus other Two Factor Authentication Mechanisms

Over the years biometrics is the go-to movie authentication mechanism, but in the real world I'm getting conflicting opinions about it. Everything I've learned shows that biometrics are flawed ...
17
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11answers
3k views

2 factor authentication - cost effective solution for a web startup

My local bank uses a 2 factor authentication where customers key in password AND a One Time PIN delivered via SMS to mobile phone OR from a security token device. I am doing a web startup in the ...
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 ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Multi factor authentication on Ubuntu workstations, where to start?

Is it possible to have Ubuntu users log in with multi-factor authentication? I was thinking of a combination of pass(word|code) and smartcard (with screen locks when for example smart-card is removed) ...
16
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2answers
476 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
902 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 ...
15
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5answers
831 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.) ...
14
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6answers
1k views

Additional security benefits from Multi-Factor Authentication?

Does multi-factor authentication provide any additional security benefits on top of doing a better job at correctly identifying and authenticating users compared to single factor authentication? In ...
14
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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 ...
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 ...
14
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2answers
4k views

What is a Yubi key and how does it work?

How do Yubi keys work? Are there any alternatives?
14
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3answers
858 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?
13
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9answers
742 views

Anybody have additional information on the EMC RSA SecurID compromise?

The Security Advisory Press Release here doesn't have much information, the email that alerted me to this didn't help much more, and unfortunately I heard about the two Thursday evening conference ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Does having 2-factor authentication help with HeartBleed?

I was talking with a friend about HeartBleed, and he mentioned that he had 2-factor authentication enabled on all the sites that supported it, so even with his username and passwords, nobody would be ...
11
votes
5answers
727 views

Non-OEM Biometric Software?

Most of us with fingerprint readers and such devices probably use the software provided by the vendor, to enable biometric OS login or single sign-on functionality. However, I've recently wondered if ...
10
votes
4answers
722 views

What is the use of the “secret” displayed when setting up 2 Factor Authentication?

What is the purpose of the "secret" that is displayed when you take the picture of the QR code to set up 2 Factor Authentication on a non-Google site? Why would you need it? If you save it, doesn't ...
10
votes
2answers
983 views

LastPass Grid Authentication vs Google Authenticator which one is more secure?

[Being a LastPass user] recently I moved to Google Authenticator instead of using Grid Authentication as a 2-factor security. For me, finding and filling letters from such a dense matrix is a rather ...
10
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3answers
384 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) ...
10
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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 ...
9
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5answers
449 views

Is a biometric eye scan more secure than a multi-factor authentication

I have come across the following question in a Security+ exam guide You are tasked with creating a high-security authentication system for physical access control to a military installation. Which ...
9
votes
6answers
758 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
246 views

What kind of factor is a physical signature?

I'm familiar with the basics of multi-factor authentication. Now I'm trying to understand how a physical signature, as written on, say, a check or a credit card receipt, would be classified: Is it ...
9
votes
1answer
225 views

Yubikeys & SSH - which option is best for lockdown?

My company has a few dozen servers hosted on a cloud provider. All but one (OpenVPN host) is closed to the internet. We're using OpenVPN AS which uses certs + Google Authenticator for login. We are ...
9
votes
2answers
512 views

NFC used in place of contact based smart card two-factor authentication

My organization is trying to move away from contact based smartcards (because our hardware vendor is no longer integrating them into their current systems) to some other form of two-factor ...
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 ...
8
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5answers
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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 ...
7
votes
6answers
941 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

(SoHo) Multi-Factor Authentication for Remote Desktop Gateway

I am looking at implementing some sort of multi-factor authentication for a Remote Desktop Gateway at a small office (less than 20 users). Where would be a good place to start for a quality, ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
808 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
662 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
365 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
589 views

One time password over SMS - exposing the Authentication Server to the internet

Consider a Internet Based Website which does authentication. The Web Application can do the authentication by calling an Authentication Server which is not connected to the internet. The ...
5
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
325 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Does adding two-factor authentication by OTP really make KeePass more secure

KeePass is an application that keeps all your passwords for you in a database. It is primarily protected by a master password and/or keyfile. If the database is properly encrypted with that password ...
4
votes
5answers
270 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
793 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?