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Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2019 17:49:39 +0100
From: Jim Fenton <>
Subject: Re: UX/security of TOTP configuration process

Many TOTP agents have mechanisms for transferring the secret from one device to another (for example, when a user’s smartphone is replaced). This is somewhat out of control of the application using TOTP (and unfortunately some of these applications do not do this transfer in a fully 2FA manner, but again that is out of the application’s control).

But I think it’s good to provide one-time recovery codes in case the user can’t transfer the recovery secret.


> On Mar 29, 2019, at 5:03 PM, Anton Dedov <> wrote:
> Hello folks!
> A question on implementing TOTP 2FA in an application.
> Is it ok to ask users to backup TOTP secret in a secure place during 2fa configuration process? Or it's better to provide one-time recovery codes?
> The argument against TOTP secret backup can be an assumption that if the secret leak it can be maliciously used without victim user ever noticing it.
> --
> Anton Dedov

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