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PhoneFactor authentication system alerts your phone for secure logins

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PhoneFactor has released an iOS-based two-factor authentication solution to compete with RSA's SecurID. The system relies on notifications to verify that the user is in physical possession of their device, on top of a conventional password component.


The reputation of security company RSA and its two-factor SecurID authentication tokens took a hit earlier this year when “information relating to” SecurID’s product was compromised — leaving a tiny crack for new companies like PhoneFactor to sneak into the market with interesting new riffs on authentication. PhoneFactor's system uses notifications instead of the random number passwords generated by RSA's SecurID tokens and smartphone apps — when you log in to your account, your iOS device receives a notification, and you complete the login by accepting the request. The notification also acts as a warning system, immediately alerting the user any time someone tries to log in with his or her credentials.

While Google's been offering a consumer-focused two-factor system since February, PhoneFactor is aimed squarely at the enterprise: VPN and Microsoft Exchange logins, online transactions, and the like. It'll be rolling out for iOS soon and an Android client is in the works.