Multi-factor authentication (MFA/2FA) not working

Josh Sherman
1 min read
Personal

Multi-factor authentication is an absolute must to help maintain the highest level of security on your accounts. There’s many ways to go about MFA/2FA from using an authenticator app to receiving a text message on your phone. Regardless of the method you choose, the day may come that your are unable to log into an account because your code(s) aren’t working.

Before you waste any of your backup scratch security codes (you did print them out to stuff in your safety deposit box, right?) pause for a brief moment and check the time on your system.

Often times the reason your generator token isn’t working is because your device’s time is off, which is causing the token to not be accepted.

I’ve been burned by this a few times before as recently as just now when I sat down to knock out a blog post for this week.

Even with “automatic date & time” enabled, things can still go hay wire from time to time. For my most recent incident, it was because I was booted up into Windows last night to check out a new computer game and then back into Linux today.

To fix it, in GNOME at least, I disabled the automatic date & time and re-enabled it. Usually it will finally sync back up on it’s own, but you know, I was in a rush and all. Patience is a virtue as it were.

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