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IDG Contributor Network: Does a smartphone make two-factor authentication?

Discussion in 'CSO' started by RSS, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. RSS

    RSS New Member Member

    Here's a polarizing question: is a phone a second factor, in the context of two-factor authentication? Fellow infosec pro @johnnysunshine tweeted the above last week, and sparked a lively debate.

    Before answering the question, let's back up a bit and explain two-factor authentication (or 2fa). To borrow an analogy I first used two years ago: 10,000 years ago, Grog and Mag formed a secret club. To ensure new members of the club would be accepted, they came up with a secret phrase. Thus was born the first password. One day Narg overheard two members greeting one another and learned the secret phrase. Thus occurred the first password breach.

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