Using One-Time Passwords

Posted by in Security+ | 0 comments

The something you have authentication factor refers to something you can physically hold. If you’re planning to take the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of appropriate authentication factors. This includes using one-time passwords.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. Your organization is planning to implement remote access capabilities. Management wants strong authentication and wants to ensure that passwords expire after a predefined time interval. Which of the following choices BEST meets this requirement?

A. HOTP

B. TOTP

C. CAC

D. Kerberos

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Full Security+ Course

Full Security+ Course Now Available

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including types of questions and strategies for performance-based questions)
  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Basic Network Security (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Identifying Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Managing Risk (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Preparing for Business Continuity (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Operational Security (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

 Full Security+ Course Now Available


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
  • 280 Security+ acronyms flashcards to help you master the required acronyms
  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over three hours hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
  • Identify how many hosts a subnet supports
  • Identify valid IP addresses within a subnet

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

Tokens or Key Fobs

A token or key fob (sometimes simply called a fob) is an electronic device about the size of a remote key for a car. You can easily carry them in a pocket or purse, or connect them to a key chain. They include liquid crystal display (LCD) that displays a number that changes periodically, such as every 60 seconds. To differentiate them from logical tokens, they are sometimes called hardware tokens.

The token is synced with a server that knows what the number is at any moment. For example, at 9:01, the number displayed on the token may be 135792 and the server knows the number is 135792. At 9:02, the displayed number changes to something else and the server also knows the new number.

This number is a one-time use, rolling password. It isn’t useful to attackers for very long, even if they can discover it. For example, a shoulder surfing attacker may be able to look over someone’s shoulder and read the number. However, the number expires within the next 60 seconds and is replaced by another one-time password.

Get Certified Get Ahead

Users often use tokens to authenticate via a web site. They enter the number displayed in the token along with their username and password. This provides dual-factor authentication because the user must have something (the token) and know something (their password).

RSA sells RSA Secure ID, a popular token used for authentication. You can Google “Secure ID picture” to view many pictures of these tokens. Although RSA tokens are popular, other brands are available.

USB tokens include a USB connector and a smart chip. The smart chip typically stores a certificate similar to how smart cards store a certificate. In addition to being used for authentication, the embedded certificate supports the use of digital signatures.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide (SY0-401)

The 401 Version of the Study Guide is Now Available

SY0-401 Study GuideThe CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201 and SY0-301 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.

CompTIA Authorized Quality Content (CAQC)After a comprehensive review by ProCert Labs, the SY0-401 version has been certified as CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) and covers every aspect of the SY0-401 exam.

It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous two versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.


Click for Free Preview


Over 400 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 100 question pre-test
  • A 100 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-401 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

HMAC-based One-Time Passwords

HMAC-based One-Time Password (HOTP) is an open standard used for creating one-time passwords, similar to those used in tokens or key fobs. The algorithm combines a secret key and an incrementing counter, and then uses HMAC to create a hash of the result. It then converts the result into an HOTP value of six to eight digits.

Imagine Bart needs to use HOTP for authentication. He requests a new HOTP number using a token or a software application. He can then use this number for authentication along with some other authentication method, such as a username and password. As soon as he uses it, the number expires. No one else is able to use it, and Bart cannot use it again either.

Here’s an interesting twist, though. A password created with HOTP remains valid until it’s used. Suppose Bart requested the HOTP number but then got distracted and never used it. What happens now? Theoretically, it remains usable forever. This presents a risk related to HOTP because other people can use the password if they discover it.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Time-based One-Time Passwords

A Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) is similar to HOTP, but it uses a timestamp instead of a counter. Moreover, one-time passwords created with TOTP expire after 30 seconds.

One significant benefit of HOTP and TOTP is price. Hardware tokens that use these open source standards are significantly less expensive than tokens that use proprietary algorithms. Additionally, many software applications use these algorithms and they are freely available.

For example, the following figure shows the free VIP Access app created by Symantec and running on an iPad. It’s also available for many other tablets and smartphones. Once you configure it to work with a compatible authentication server, it creates a steady stream of one-time use passwords. The six-digit security code is the password, and the counter lets you know how much more time you have before it changes again.

One-Time Passwords

VIP Access app

Similar to a hardware token, the user enters a username and password as the something you know factor, and then enters the security code from the app as the something you have factor. This provides dual-factor authentication. Many public web sites like eBay and PayPal support it, allowing many end users to implement dual-factor authentication as long as they have a smartphone or tablet device.

Remember this

HOTP and TOTP are both open source standards used to create one-time use passwords. HOTP creates a one-time use password that does not expire. TOTP creates a one-time password that expires after 30 seconds.


 

Q. Your organization is planning to implement remote access capabilities. Management wants strong authentication and wants to ensure that passwords expire after a predefined time interval. Which of the following choices BEST meets this requirement?

A. HOTP

B. TOTP

C. CAC

D. Kerberos

Answer is B. A Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) meets this requirement. Passwords created with TOTP expire after 30 seconds.

HMAC-based One-Time Password (HOTP) creates passwords that do not expire.

A Common Access Card (CAC) is a type of smart card, but it does not create passwords.

Kerberos uses tickets instead of passwords.

See Chapter 1 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide for more information on authentication concepts.

You might like to view the CAC, PIV, and Smart Card blog post to learn more about Something You Have factor of authentication.

Leave a Comment

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get a free excerpt of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.  This excerpt includes the introduction and Chapter 1. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Certified Get Ahead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Copyright © 2015 Get Certified Get Ahead. All Rights Reserved.