The OATH Toolkit provides one-time password (OTP) components for authentication systems. It contains a PAM authentication module that supports HOTP and TOTP as described by their informational RFC, RFC 4226 and 6328 respectively. The OTP generator applications are available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and other devices. Similar to Google Authenticator the authentication mechanism integrates into the Linux PAM system. This guide shows the installation and configuration of this mechanism.
Install the package.
Setting up the oath
The oath seed is an hexadecimal number that should be unique per user. To generate a new seed for a user, you could use the following command line:
$ head -10 /dev/urandom | sha512sum | cut -b 1-30
There needs to be one oath per user and link to it in a configuration file
/etc/users.oath. While being root create the file and insert the user seed:
# Option User Prefix Seed HOTP/T30/6 user - 1ab4321412aebcw
Make sure that the file can only be accessed by root:
# chmod 600 /etc/users.oath # chown root /etc/users.oath
Setting up the PAM
To enable oath for a specific service only, like ssh, you can edit the file
/etc/pam.d/sshd and add at the beginning of the file the following line:
auth sufficient pam_oath.so usersfile=/etc/users.oath window=30 digits=6
This will allow authentication if you just enter the right oath code. You can make it a requirement and let the rest of the pam stack be processed if you use the following line instead:
auth required pam_oath.so usersfile=/etc/users.oath window=30 digits=6
For ssh login to work make sure that both
UsePAM options are enabled:
ChallengeResponseAuthentication yes UsePAM yes
If you want to force OATH request-response even if there is a working public/private key authentication also add the following:
AuthenticationMethods publickey,keyboard-interactive PasswordAuthentication yes
Logging with an oath pass
Run the following command if you are logging in and need the current oath pass:
$ oathtool -v -d6 1ab4321412aebcw
Of course replace
1ab4321412aebcw by the seed corresponding to your user. It will display something like that:
Hex secret: 1ab4321412aebc Base32 secret: DK2DEFASV26A==== Digits: 6 Window size: 0 Start counter: 0x0 (0) 820170
The last number is actually the code you can use to log in right now, but more interestingly the Base32 secret, is actually what we need to generate a QR code for this user. To do so install the packageto run the following command:
$ qrencode -o user.png 'otpauth://totp/user@machine?secret=DK2DEFASV26A===='
Of course change user, machine and
DK2DEFASV26A==== accordingly. Once done, you can visualize your QR code with your preferred image visualizer application and use that to configure your phone. Alternatively you may generate the QR code directly onto terminal with:
$ qrencode -t UTF8 'otpauth://totp/user@machine?secret=DK2DEFASV26A===='
It is pretty straight forward to use FreeOTP to then take a screenshot of that .png (or ASCII-art like image) and get it to display OTP pass when needed.