Forums Community Two factor authentication

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Svante 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #4075 Reply

    Dirk

    Hi,

    how about implementing two-factor authentication for sign in on version 2, maybe with Google authenticator.  That might help many of us who are concerned with having a single password in version 2.

    Also would be great to have the option for an automatic timeout so that every set number of minutes it automatically signs out and we have to reenter our password and 2FA.  Seems like the best way to help combat the fear of a zero day exploit taking over our account

    Thanks

    #4076 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Hello Dirk,

    Thank you for your input. I’ll be writing a longer text on Authentication vs. Encryption, but very briefly. Authentication is about proving to a system that you are who you claim to be, i.e. to provide evidence to support the claim. In the physical world, this might be a passport for example. Encryption is not really about proving anything, it’s about either knowing or not knowing an encryption key. Either you know it, or you don’t. Two-factor authentication is about providing stronger evidence to support your identity claim. With encryption, that doesn’t make sense, because there is no identity claim involved, it’s just about either posessing or not posessing the decryption key.

    All that being said, we’re thinking about the possibility of some hybrid system if we can figure something out that makes sense both from a security point of view, and from a user point of view. Our main issue here is that we’d like to keep AxCrypt to be about *real* security, not *perceived* . I.e. we don’t want to add features that many users believes increases security, while in fact it does not.

    A timeout for the sign in is in the works, by popular demand. You can follow it here: https://bitbucket.org/axantum/axcrypt-net/issues/208/sign-out-automatically-on-a-set-time .

    Once again – thank you!

    #6232 Reply

    Carl

    Svante,

    True but the likes of  Google Authenticator  generate a one time password so that there may be an indirect  security benefit in that it facilitates the use of very long and complex passwords by offering  the option of a single entry of the password on a specific device with the app (and therefore the encryption password) protected by by a one time authentication password.

    OK strictly speaking that is not 2 factor authentication but rather the splitting of the two functions of encryption and authentication but that may become even more relevant when you  implement a timeout.

    Carl

    #6233 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Hello Carl,

    I’m not following. The Google Authenticator is still about proving identity – not possessing a secret. Remember that AxCrypt is designed to handle the following scenario:

    The attacker has access to the following:

    – One or more encrypted files, and the original decrypted originals for all but the file(s) being attacked.
    – All the source code and technical documentation for the application.
    – Tools and skill to use, write and adapt code to try passwords/keys without interference of operating system or server authentication – i.e. entirely offline and under the attackers control.
    – Lots and lots of hardware (think custom built supercomputers) and money, vast amounts of money (many, many millions of $).

    In fact, the only things the attacker is not assumed to have is the password, and you (so you can’t be forced to reveal the password).

    Therefore, having various additional stronger “authentication” methods does not really make sense, since we assume the attacker can get round those. We still want AxCrypt to stand strong. And it does, provided you use a sufficiently strong password, which we try relatively hard to help you with.

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