Authenticators for a dummy...


brucemc777

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Thank you for considering coming to my aid!

On my iPhone i have two authenticator apps and i have no clue as to what i am doing. One is by Google and the other by Microsoft. To make it more fun, there have been times i have been instructed to open up my authenticator app and enter the code or something similar and i have tried opening both and have been just that much more clueless over what the heck i am doing.

I suspect i should have only one authenticator app as having two might confuse whatever is trying to authenticate, i know it confuses me, but don't know. Is there a good resource for me to learn how to configure and learn what i should be doing?

Many Thanks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
-Bruce
 

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Hi,

does this article help you:


you could alsop try searching on YouTube, as that might give you a video that takes you through the process, one screen at a time.
 

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They both do the same thing which is produce a TOTP (one time password) based on a secret which would be provided to you by the application which you're trying to authenicate with.

It is perfectly reasonable to have both since I believe some Microsoft applications only work with the Microsoft authenticator. You shouldn't have to do any configuration other than providing the secret for each application using trying to authenticate with.
 

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They both do the same thing which is produce a TOTP (one time password) based on a secret which would be provided to you by the application which you're trying to authenicate with.

Actually, not quite correct.

Microsoft Authenticator also allows for push notifications from Microsoft accounts directly to the app, much like a Google Android phone can be used to accept push notifications for authentication to Google accounts. You then have to either approve the connection, or, depending upon the Microsoft user account settings, confirm the matching code and then allow / deny the connection. In this respect, it's not a TOTP, it's actually One 2 digit code displayed on the device attempting authentication, and 3 codes displayed on the device used to authenticate, with the user being required to authenticate by selecting the correct code and then approving the connection.


I use it for all 4 of my Microsoft accounts, along with a few work-related Azure and Azure AD accounts. All make direct use of push notifications instead of TOTPs, although all accounts also have TOTP as a backup method for authentication.

I just did a login on a guest profile to illustrate.

In the guest profile on my PC:

Screenshot 2023-12-05 170528.png

What I see on my Android phone via the Microsoft Authenticator app:

Screenshot_20231205-170548.png

As noted in the message, it is also able to force authentication only after local device authentication (fp / PIN / face unlock) as well, whicxh is how I have mine set up.
 

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I suspect i should have only one authenticator app as having two might confuse whatever is trying to authenticate
No, you can have as many as you want, in fact everyone should have at least 2 as a backup, because one can get corrupted, deleted or even hijacked. You just have to enter the same code to all, I use one on desktop and MS Authenticator on phones, unfortunately MS Authenticator does not allow a real backup unlike others, so if you lose your phone, you are done, but it is practical for MS account.
 

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I love MS Authenticator, but as TairikuOkami mentions, best you have two. I am yet to come across anything that needs authenticating that I can’t add to MS Authenticator. Amazon, FB, PayPal etc etc etc… I don’t use Google anything so I wouldn’t know if it works with Google.
 
Last edited:

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Speaking about authenticators, does Authy support everything Micrsoft does as I know Authy can handle anything that normally requires Google and it allows multi devices connected to the same account so if you lose your device, one is still able to use it for the sites. There are some sites like Gemini which has tokens specifically that only works in Authy.
 

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I just use the Microsoft authenticator app. Whichever apps you decide to use I would recommend ensuring that they’re backed up otherwise you will lose your codes should you lose/change your phone. Also to save all the backup/recovery codes for each account you use the authentication app with as a precaution.
 

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I have the Microsoft app for Microsoft-specific push authentication, and I use KeePassXC for all TOTP entries (including Microsoft, Google, etc.) and passkeys, at this point.

Some other stuff has their own stuff incorporated into their mobile apps (Battle.net, eBay, etc.) but for the most part TOTPs from KPXC and passkeys are my normal modes now.

All my accounts that support multiple methods for MFA have multiple methods enabled, including different types, where applicable - I even still have SMS and email set up for those accounts that allow it for MFA as last-resort backups, in addition to having multiple physical keys for accounts that let me use physical keys.

Redundancy is my modus operandi
 

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These authenticators, sure they may make it hard for the wrong person to be
logging into your particular account, but that doesn’t stop them hacking the servers, as they have been doing. And you only hear of a small percentage of breaches. In my opinion, all this stuff is just a false sense of security. …In my opinion
 

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    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
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    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
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    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
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    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
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    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
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    100/40
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    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
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    Manufacturer/Model
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    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
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    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
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    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
Until you consider how these servers are being hacked.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 23H2 Current build
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    Memory
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    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2x Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor (Matte) | Eve Spectrum ES07DC9 4K Gaming Monitor (Glossy)
    Screen Resolution
    3x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM) } 3x Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 1 TB SSD (USB)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    NZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (3x 120 mm push top) + Air 3x 140mm case fans (pull front) + 1x 120 mm (push back) and 1 x 120 mm (pull bottom)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S | MX Master 3 for Business
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
    Browser
    Nightly (default) + Firefox (stable), Chrome, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB 5 Beta
  • Operating System
    ChromeOS Flex Dev Channel (current)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryville 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S (shared w. Sys 1) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth

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