Two-factor authentication

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. There was a heated discussion here not so long ago involving some people who
    had difficulty understanding what exactly made up two-factor
    authentication.

    Here's a link <http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=4496&tag=btxcsim> to a short
    video which gives a nice, simple explanation of the concept. In essence,
    there are three ways to authenticate yourself to a system, based on
    1) something you know (e.g. a password or PIN)
    2) something you have (e.g. some kind of key device)
    3) something you are (biometrics, e.g. fingerprint or retinal scan)

    Two-factor authentication requires that you use two _different_ items from
    this list: it's not good enough to have two different passwords, for
    example.

    Note also that usernames or account numbers do not appear on this list and
    are not counted as a "factor", even though they would be supplied as part
    of the authentication process. They are not the confidential part of the
    data exchange.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 9, 2008
    #1
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