Feeds

Facebook introduces one-time passwords

Users of sketchy PCs, take note

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Facebook began rolling out new service on Tuesday that allows people using public computers to log into the site without having to enter their regular password.

Instead, users can login with a one-time password that, upon request, Facebook zaps to their mobile phones. The temporary access code is good for 20 minutes only. The new feature is designed to prevent account compromises that result when credentials are entered into machines that have been compromised by keyloggers and similar types of malware.

“We're launching one-time passwords to make it safer to use public computers in places like hotels, cafes or airports,” Jake Brill, a Facebook product manager, blogged here. “If you have any concerns about security of the computer you're using while accessing Facebook, we can text you a one-time password to use instead of your regular password.”

To use the service, users must first configure their accounts to work with a designated mobile phone number. When they text “otp” to 32665, they should immediately receive a password that's good for the next 20 minutes.

The feature is available to select Facebook users for now. Over the next few weeks, it will gradually become available to everyone.

Brill unveiled two other features that are also intended to give users more control over their accounts. One allows users to remotely sign out of accounts. It's useful in cases when someone forgets to log off of a computer and only later realizes he's still logged in. In the past, the person had to access the computer to be logged off, but the new service allows this to happen remotely. Users can check to see if they're still logged in from their Facebook account settings page.

A third service will regularly prompt users to update their security information, Brill said. Facebook uses the information to verify users in the event a password is lost or compromised. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.