Microsoft Account gets more secure, two-step verification inbound

Microsoft has put up a post today that states that Microsoft accounts will now be getting two step authentication which should appease many users who have been asking for the feature. The feature will be rolling out over the next couple of days in what Microsoft is calling a 'major upgrade'.

Microsoft states on its blog:

Over the next couple days we will roll out a major upgrade to Microsoft account, including optional two-step verification to help keep your account more secure.

Two factor authentication will be optional for the end user but should strongly be consideres as two-factor authentication will dramatically improve the security of your account and keep all of your content safe across many of Microsoft's online services that utilize your Microsoft account.

Microsoft will also be utilizing an app, called Microsoft Authenticator, for Windows Phone users that will allow those individuals to access the app to generate a code when trying to access their accounts online as the second form of authentication; those of you on other platforms will have to use more traditional code distribution such as a text message.

On devices that you use frequently, you will have the option of only requiring the two-factor authentication one time but if you do not use the device for 60 days, you will be required to use two-factor authentication on your next login.

Source: Microsoft

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15 Comments

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DAOWAce said,
Can we get more than 16 character passwords and support for special characters on GFWL services now?

Better yet, add support for more than 16 character passwords and eliminate GFWL services. I've always hated it when games use that crap.

They have eliminated it, well at least no game developer has used it in some time and many say they have no plans to use the service anymore. Microsoft has never made an official statement but it seems very clear that they have no intentions of updating the service or continuing to expand on it so I feel it's safe to say it's probably done for.

Synthetic said,
They have eliminated it, well at least no game developer has used it in some time and many say they have no plans to use the service anymore. Microsoft has never made an official statement but it seems very clear that they have no intentions of updating the service or continuing to expand on it so I feel it's safe to say it's probably done for.

Because they're extending Xbox live to pc games now, at least on windows 8. They should be able to use that if the dev wants to.

briangw said,
I noticed a Windows Phone app out for this when I was browsing the store today.

That app also works with Gmail and Lastpass.

kidjenius said,
This should delight many people that have been reluctant to jump to outlook due to the lack of this security feature.

Outlook already supports single use pass codes (sent by SMS).

2-steps authentication doesn't bring additional security. Worst, if people reuse the same password on several sites, if they use 2-steps authentication from a computer infected with malwares, the malware can get their password and hackers can try to use it on services like PayPal.

it makes much more sense to use only single use pass codes and not take the risk to get your password exposed.

wut? 2-factor only increases security, not reduce. since all vulnerabilities that it suffers with respect to the password component, also applies to passwords alone. at worst it adds no security if the second factor's implementation is totally botched.

The SMS function doesn't exactly work for everyone. No SMS was delivered to me ever yet my google account always delivers.