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Ethical Hacking: Top 6 techniques for attacking two-factor authentication by Blackhat Pakistan

Two-factor authentication (Ethical Hacking) has been known for some time for the security it can bring to organizations and Ethical Hacking. The combination of something.

you know, Ethical Hacking:

something you have, and something you are is the heart and soul of 2FA and helps explain its relative security strength V Ethical Hacking.

Despite this fact, attackers are known to have several ways to successfully attack 2FA, and as an ethical hacker it is your job to understand these potential attacks. This article details the top six techniques for attacking 2FA and gives you a big picture of what 2FA attackers you might encounter when working as an ethical hacker Ethical Hacking.

Ethical Hacking 2023
Ethical Hacking 2023

What is two-factor authentication of Ethical Hacking?

Ethical Hacking  is an authentication method that brings an extra layer of security to the proverbial information security mess. Rather than relying solely on a traditional username and password combination, 2FA schemes require users to authenticate using the following:

  • Something you know: Password, PIN, etc.
  • Something you have: Smart card, USB token, etc. Ethical Hacking
  • Something you are: Voice, iris, fingerprints, etc.

There are two ways to verify Ethical Hacking:

One-way: This is the most common type of authentication. This is a server-only/client-only method, with server-only authentication being the most used Ethical Hacking
Two-way (mutual authentication): Both the client and the server must be authenticated using this method. It’s not as common as one-way authentication, but it’s more secure.Also Read Ethical Hacking.

6 Best Ethical Hacking Techniques for Attacking Two-Factor Authentication

  1. Social engineering Ethical Hacking
    The best technique to attack 2FA is undoubtedly social engineering. 2FA relies heavily on knowledge known only to the user, and when a website or service using 2FA doesn’t seem to work, users naturally turn to technical support. Attackers have been observed using social engineering support to trick a user into resetting their password or stealing sensitive 2FA-related information.

This is a natural point of vulnerability for 2FA, as any tech support interaction makes it almost inevitable that sensitive user information will be leaked by asking just a few questions (or none at all if the user voluntarily provides the information).

  1. Stealing session cookies
    Cookie session hijacking has been with us since the dawn of networking. That said, there are hundreds of ways to hijack a cookie session even when using 2FA for authentication Ethical Hacking.

A recently published method for performing this technique was demonstrated by hacking expert Kevin Mitnick using a man-in-the-middle attack framework called evilginx. This involved tricking the victim into visiting a misspelled domain and presenting the user with a proxy login page; the user’s interaction allowed evilginx to capture the user’s credentials and verification code, which are then passed on to the legitimate site. The end result was a captured session cookie that can be used indefinitely.

  1. Duplicate code generator Ethical Hacking
    Depending on how your organization has implemented 2FA, code or number generators can be used to generate “something you know” (see Google Authenticator).
  2. Ethical Hacking 2023
    Ethical Hacking 2023

“Random” number generators usually start with a randomly generated seed value, which in turn is used to generate the first number in the code. This first value is used by the algorithm to generate subsequent code values. If attackers learn the algorithm and seed number, they can use this information to create a duplicate code generator that is identical to the compromised user’s code generator.

  1. Two-factor authentication “not required” Ethical Hacking
    Some sites and services that allow users to use 2FA may not require it, meaning that the user does not have real 2FA. Rather, 1FA access will still be available to both users and attackers, meaning attackers can use 1FA to access a website or service.

Worryingly, many widely used sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, do not require 2FA even though they offer it. In cases like these, attackers can bypass 2FA by providing password reset responses that are much less secure.

  1. Brute force Ethical Hacking
    What would authentication attacks be without typical brute force attacks? Although 2FA offers better security than 1FA, brute force can help attackers bypass it Ethical Hacking.

Brute-force attacks are possible if the 2FA authentication screen does not enforce account lockout for a predetermined number of bad attempts. It works by having the attacker send a password reset message to the attacked user’s email. An attacker can then go to this password reset email and set a new password and then simply force the user’s 2FA code.

  1. Faulty two-factor authentication Ethical Hacking
    Errors are still a normal part of life in today’s world and this extends to the world of 2FA. Over the past year or so, there have been several examples of this affecting widely used websites and services, including Uber.

The dangerous thing about buggy 2FA is the sheer volume of machines it can affect. For example, in 2017, the Return of Coppersmith’s Attack (ROCA) Ethical Hacking vulnerability was discovered, which affects all 2FA products, including smart cards and TPM chips, that use RSA keys generated by Infineon Technologies with a key length of 2048 or less (which is the majority). To date, there are hundreds of millions of affected devices.


Two-factor authentication was intended to be a major security upgrade for many websites and services, and in fact it has been. As a result, attackers use the inherent weaknesses of the technology and its implementation to attack 2FA and ultimately gain access to the website, service, and even the system.

Ethical hackers must be aware of these different 2FA attack techniques. This is because it is likely that at least one of these techniques will be used against their organization at some point Ethical Hacking


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