Google Authenticator

Or: Seting up Google Two-Factor Authentication with AWS

Last month, I finally setup Google 2-factor authentication on my email account after reading about a high-profile journalist’s account being hacked. I had put off setting up 2-factor authentication for months because it felt like it would just cause headaches trying to check my email, and besides… my passwords are pretty complex, so that should be good enough, right?

Wrong. When even trusty ol’ HTTPS sessions can be hijacked, it’s better to be paranoid than sorry. So I bit the bullet and setup 2-factor authentication. The result? It’s incredibly easy to use, to the point where I’ve been using it for authenticating with every major web service available, including logging into the Amazon Web Services management console.

What is Google Two-Factor Authentication? It’s an additional layer of security for accessing a web service. For example, when you log into Amazon Web Services, you’ll be prompted for both your password and a one-time passcode generated by your smart phone (either iPhone or Android).

Interested in securing your AWS account even more? Check out Full360’s guide to setting up Google Authenticator with the AWS console.