SMS Authentication

Banks and payment service providers sometimes rely on SMS to verify the identity of a person who wishes to make a wire transfer or confirm a payment. They send an SMS message with a one-time password (OTP) to the person’s mobile phone, and the user has to enter this OTP into the application of the bank or payment service provider. In this blog post I discuss whether SMS-based authentication will… Read more


Top 5 Security Stories in 2016

2016 was another stunning year in the battle against hackers. The bad guys were more than up to the task with new attacks and an endless display of innovation that challenged even the best security strategies. Yahoo’s topped their half-billion record breach with a billion-record breach, ransomware ran amok, DDoS attacks scaled to new heights, the endpoint grabbed major attention, and the U.S. political process ended up in Russia’s crosshairs…. Read more


Convenience Over Security is Often Not the Best Policy

Now NIST says SMS authentication is a “no-go” Forget your password?  No problem, just click “reset password” to receive a one-time code sent via SMS to your registered mobile phone.  From there you can create a new password to access your account. Inexpensive and Convenient?  Absolutely! Secure?  Maybe. Well, for federal agencies, “maybe” does not make the grade when it comes to security and the National Institute of Standards and… Read more


SMS is insecure, and is no longer suitable as a strong authentication mechanism.

The news is in that the National Institute of Standards and Technology has finally stated what both security professionals and hackers alike have known for years: SMS is insecure, and is no longer suitable as a strong authentication mechanism.  SMS Messages are not protected from the wrong eyes seeing them, and there is no assurance that they will actually go to the intended recipient.  So everyone knew this day was… Read more