Is Two Factor Authentication Really Safe?

I can't help but to wonder if clever hackers would have access to both my PC and my phone if I move towards two-factor authentication. Am I just being paranoid? I welcome your thoughts!

Comments

  • Posts: 283
    Well.....they would need access to both instead of just one. How many layers do you want?
  • PiaVipper said:
    Well.....they would need access to both instead of just one. How many layers do you want?
    I guess the question is: can one device be accessed via the other when two-factor authentication is used? Does the linking of two devices put both devices at some level of risk?
  • edited September 12 Posts: 17
    asaporter said:
    PiaVipper said:
    Well.....they would need access to both instead of just one. How many layers do you want?
    I guess the question is: can one device be accessed via the other when two-factor authentication is used? Does the linking of two devices put both devices at some level of risk?

    No. Using two factor authentication doesn't increase your risk through some sort of cross-contamination mechanism. Ideally your second factor is completely independent of the site/service you're using, so a compromise in one doesn't have any effect on the other. 

    Google Authenticator is an example of this. Basically it stores a reallly long secret number on your phone that you and the service you are using it with have both agreed on. When you log in, the website will ask you for a 6-digit number that is calculated using the current time and your secret number. Since the website you're logging into also knows the secret number, and the time, they can do the calculation on their end and confirm if you entered the right 6-digit code. Your authenticator app never actually communicates with the website (it doesn't even need internet access, as long as the time is kept right). 
    Post edited by deathhilarious on
  • Posts: 283
    Ahhhh, a Gate Keeper, I believe.
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