Using google authenticator with OpenBSD SSH logins

Introduction on two factor authentication

Please read the following information on two factor authentication and why you would want to use it.

NOTE: Make sure you leave a terminal with root access if you are using a remote system until you have tested that you can indeed authenticate to it!

Steps tested on OpenBSD 5.4, used tools on EL6 client to generate QR code. I’m mainly documenting this here so I can remember how to do this again.

1. Install: login_oauth-.tgz eg.

# pkg_add -v

Make sure to look over the readme: /usr/local/share/doc/pkg-readmes/login_oath-version

2. Add a new login class

This is done by editing /etc/login.conf and add change user(s) to use it.

# The TOTPPW login class requires both TOTP and passwd; the user must
# supply the password in the format OTP/password, e.g. 816721/axlotl.


Change user(s) login class eg.

# usermod -L totppw username

3. Generate a random key

Create the file in the users home directory

$ openssl rand -hex 20 > ~/.totp-key

Note: Make sure your home directory and this file are not world readable! Otherwise you will be prevented from logging in.

4. Convert hex string key to base32

Documents show perl, I have supplied an example in python.

import binascii
import base64
import sys

if __name__ == '__main__':
    if len(sys.argv) != 2:
        print 'Syntax: %s ' % ( sys.argv[0])

    print base64.b32encode(binascii.unhexlify(sys.argv[1]))

5. Generate QR code

This is so you don’t have to type in a big random sequence on your smart phone. Free web based ones exist, but only use if you trust.

$ qrencode -o ~/.totp-key.png
"otpauth://totp/?secret=BASE 32 SECRET&issuer=Your name, etc."

More info:

6. Create a new software key in authenticator

Using your created QR code add a new software key. If you don’t want to create a QR code, then create a new entry, set to time based and enter the 64 characters. I’m guessing it may take a few tries to get it correct.

7. Test that google authenticator and system match

Run this on your OpenBSD system and compare to your google app.

$ oathtool –totp `cat ~/.totp-key`

If they don’t make sure both the phone and the computer dates and time match. Keeping time accurate is important so best to enable time sync on the OpenBSD system.

8. Do a test ssh login

Using a separate terminal, ssh to remote system with just the password, this should fail. Then try using OTP/password for your password and you should get authenticated.