How to set up two-factor authentication for SSH login on Linux
Posted on: 07/08/2014 11:20 AM

Xmodulo shows you how to setup a two-factor authentication for SSH login on Linux

How to set up two-factor authentication for SSH login on Linux


With many high-profile password leaks nowadays, there is a lot of buzz in the industry on "multi-factor" authentication. In a multi-factor authentication system, users are required to go through two distinct authentication procedures: providing something they know (e.g., username/password), and leveraging something they have "physical" access to (e.g., one-time passcode generated by their mobile phone). This scheme is also commonly known as two-factor authentication or two-step verification.

To encourage the wide adoption of two-factor authentication, Google released Google Authenticator, an open-source application that can generate one-time passcode based on open standards (e.g., HMAP/time-based). It is available on multiple platforms including Linux, Android, iOS. Google also offers a pluggable authentication module (PAM) for Google Authenticator, allowing it to be integrated with other PAM-enabled applications such as OpenSSH.

In this tutorial, I will describe how to set up two-factor authentication for an SSH server by integrating Google Authenticator with OpenSSH. I am going to use a Android device to generate one-time passcode. In this tutorial, you will need two things: (1) a Linux host where OpenSSH server is running, and (2) an Android device.



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