Multi-Factor Authentication

by | Mar 27, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Table of Contents
what is multi-factor authentication?
How does multi-factor authentication work?
multi-factor authentication with Mobile Phones.
The Benefit of multi-factor authentication.
How multi-factor authentication is Hacked?

what is multi-factor authentication?

Authentication is the method through which people demonstrate that they are who they claim to be. authentication consists of two parts:

A public assertion of identity, generally in the form of a username and a secret answer, is sometimes known as a password, A password is anything that allows you to identify yourself by using something that only you know, and this is an illustration of single-factor authentication.

This is typically not a safe approach these days because passwords may be intercepted or stolen, so you should not write down your passwords anywhere or share them with others.

There are still many individuals who don’t understand how to establish a decent password.

Multi-factor authentication, often known as two-factor authentication, refers to two or more means of verifying identification. “Something you know, something you have, something you are” is what you need for two-factor authentication.

Tokens and smart cards are improved password systems since they must be physically present with the user. Passwords are weaker than biometrics but can use a sensor or scanner to detect unique traits of distinct body parts.

Mult-factor authentication provides an additional layer of protection to the authentication process by making it more difficult for attackers to get access to a person’s devices or online accounts. As a result, the victim’s password is compromised.

A password alone is insufficient to pass the authentication check. Despite being the most commonly used approach, passwords they are the least potential means of establishing one’s identity.

How does multi-factor authentication work?

The process of enabling multi-factor authentication differs based on the application or provider. The majority of two-factor authentication solutions will not do away with usernames and passwords. Instead, they add another layer of verification to guarantee that the right individuals enter and the crooks remain out.

  • The application or website notifies the user to log in.
  • Typically, the user supplies a username and password. The network then discovers a match and recognizes the user.
  • If the website does not require passwords, it generates a unique security key verified by the website servers.
  • The user is then allowed to initiate the second login process, and the system establishes contact with the registered device. Verification codes may be sent to phones.
  • The user must then input a one-time code that was created, and after submitting both factors, the user is authorized and provided access to the application or website.

Organizations must implement a system that accepts, processes, and allows or denies access to users who authenticate with their tokens. This might be deployed as server software or a specialized hardware server, or it could be provided as a service by a third party.

multi-factor authentication with a mobile phone.

Smartphones provide many multi-factor authentication options, allowing businesses to choose what is better for them. Some devices can detect fingerprints, utilize the built-in webcam for face recognition or retinal scans, and detect voice via the microphone.

As an alternative measure, smartphones with GPS can confirm their location. Provide a verified phone number to get verification codes through text messages or automated phone calls, to enroll in mobile two-factor authentication, a user must demonstrate at least one trustworthy contact information.

Push notifications to verify the user’s availability of the device registered with the authentication system, often a mobile smartphone. Notifications are also impacted if an attacker infects the device. Man-in-the-middle attacks, illegal access, and social engineering assaults are all eliminated via push notifications.

The benefit of multi-factor authentication.

  • increased security
  • Boost your productivity and flexibility.
  • The costs associated with the support desk and security administration are reduced.
  • reduce fraud and establish safe online interactions.
  • It guarantees the consumer’s identification.
  • is simple to put into action.
  • is a reliable cybersecurity solution.

How is multi-factor authentication hacked?

There are more than a dozen techniques to circumvent two-factor authentication. Some of these attacks were effective against millions of protected users. Anyone who claims their solution is not hackable is lying to you or their beginning native.

Some solutions are more resistant to hackers or specific attacks. However, as two-factor authentication becomes less vulnerable to hackers in most circumstances, it becomes more difficult for the end-user to utilize. Many people feel that two-factor authentication is not hackable, so they use it; it reduces the risk, but does not wholly destroy it.

Social Engineering

The term “social engineering” refers to the human aspect involved in mistakenly employing two-factor authentication in a way that leads to its bypass or misuse.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: 

The vast majority of Two-factor authentication hacking tactics involve social engineering the end user. The most straightforward bypass technique is to deceive the victim into connecting with a bogus, man-in-the-middle attack using a proxy website before linking to the actual website.

It is not challenging to dupe someone into connecting to a malicious website. All it takes is an email that appears to be official and asks them to click on a link or verify some type of specific or fascinating information.

The malicious website can steal the user’s login credentials, whether they use a login name and password or put in some two-factor authentication code. The attacker could then use those accounts to sign in as the victim to the official site.

Physical attack:

Any physical device used for two-factor authentication is vulnerable to physical exploitation. Physical and wireless emission connections, transmissions, and storage devices may be analyzed to expose authentication details.

Technical manipulation: 

The term “technical manipulation” refers to technology to commit illegal crimes. This exploitation and manipulation did not necessitate a human user to make a mistake.

Combination attack

Many two-factor authentication hacking methods necessitate a combination of two or more approaches, while the great majority involve social engineering in addition to a technological assault.

Fake Authentication: 

For most multi-factor authentication solutions, this is one of the most difficult forms of assault to block. An attacker can deceive a user into visiting a fake website that seems to be an actual website where the user would typically enter their login information.

The website can then display bogus actions and requests, such as “You must update your credit card information,” prompting the user to re-enter their credit card information.

programming bug:

All two-factor authentication requires programming, and all programming contains flaws. Every solution contains flawed code, and the majority of it may be abused by someone who discovers the flaw.

Some of the most popular solutions, which have been available for a decade or more, have dozens or hundreds of published exploits. Nobody has yet figured out how to write bug-free code.

OTP Based attacks:

OTP tokens and phone applications deliver 4- to 6-digit numbers updated after a predetermined time or after an occurrence (like you logging in successfully or pushing a button to get the following code).

Codes are created using a randomly generated one-time value and other information saved in a database and on the OTP device. If an attacker gains access to the database where the OTP is kept, they will be able to construct more unauthorized instances of the OTP device.


While using passwords as the primary means of authentication is ubiquitous, it frequently does not provide the security or user experience required by businesses and their users.

While traditional security systems such as a password manager and two-factor authentication attempt to solve the issue of login details, they rely on an architecture that is fundamentally antiquated.

As a result, many firms are adopting no-password authentication. Using biometrics and secure protocols, users may safely authenticate themselves in their apps without entering passwords.

This implies that workers may access their work without entering passwords in the professional world, but IT has complete control over every login.

While two-factor authentication does decrease, and in some cases, considerably reduce, specific computer security threats, most attacks that may succeed against single-factor authentication can also succeed against two-factor authentication implementations.

There are several approaches to different problems. A single two-factor authentication solution is frequently vulnerable to several attack methods.


Sakshi Gurao is a researcher and technical writer at VA2PT, a Red Teamer, and a Penetration Tester. Contact LinkedIn