Facebook Introduces OTP (One-time Password) Functionality
Facebook began rolling out new service on Tuesday that allows people using public computers to log into the site without having to enter their regular password.
Instead, users can login with a one-time password that, upon request, Facebook zaps to their mobile phones. The temporary access code is good for 20 minutes only. The new feature is designed to prevent account compromises that result when credentials are entered into machines that have been compromised by keyloggers and similar types of malware.
“We’re launching one-time passwords to make it safer to use public computers in places like hotels, cafes or airports,” Jake Brill, a Facebook product manager, blogged here. “If you have any concerns about security of the computer you’re using while accessing Facebook, we can text you a one-time password to use instead of your regular password.”
A lot of banks use a similar system labeled as a TAC (Transaction Authorisation Code) or similar when you want to carry out a transaction which involves moving money out from your account (bill payment, fund transfers etc).
The other new security related features are remote log-out, which Gmail from Google has had forever – if you didn’t know about the feature just scroll to the very bottom of the Gmail window and you’ll see something like this:
This account is open in 1 other location (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx).
Last account activity: 2 hours ago on this computer. Details
To use the service, users must first configure their accounts to work with a designated mobile phone number. When they text “otp” to 32665, they should immediately receive a password that’s good for the next 20 minutes. The feature is available to select Facebook users for now. Over the next few weeks, it will gradually become available to everyone
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