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    1.1.5 • Public • Published

    Node.js Authenticator

    | Sponsored by ppl

    Two- and Multi- Factor Authenication (2FA / MFA) for node.js

    There are a number of apps that various websites use to give you 6-digit codes to increase security when you log in:

    There are many Services that Support MFA, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Digital Ocean for starters.

    This module uses notp which implements TOTP (RFC 6238) (the Authenticator standard), which is based on HOTP (RFC 4226) to provide codes that are exactly compatible with all other Authenticator apps and services that use them.

    Browser & Commandline Authenticator

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    node.js api

    npm install authenticator --save

    command line

    npm install authenticator-cli --global


    node.js api

    'use strict';
    var authenticator = require('authenticator');
    var formattedKey = authenticator.generateKey();
    // "acqo ua72 d3yf a4e5 uorx ztkh j2xl 3wiz"
    var formattedToken = authenticator.generateToken(formattedKey);
    // "957 124"
    authenticator.verifyToken(formattedKey, formattedToken);
    // { delta: 0 }
    authenticator.verifyToken(formattedKey, '000 000');
    // null
    authenticator.generateTotpUri(formattedKey, "", "ACME Co", 'SHA1', 6, 30);
    // otpauth://totp/

    command line

    # see help
    authenticator --help
    # generate a key and display qr code
    authenticator --qr


    generateKey()                               // generates a 32-character (160-bit) base32 key
    generateToken(formattedKey)                 // generates a 6-digit (20-bit) decimal time-based token
    verifyToken(formattedKey, formattedToken)   // validates a time-based token within a +/- 30 second (90 seconds) window
                                                // returns `null` on failure or an object such as `{ delta: 0 }` on success
                                                // generates an `OTPAUTH://` scheme URI for QR Code generation.
    generateTotpUri(formattedKey, accountName, issuer, algorithm, digits, period)

    OTPAuth Scheme

    Note that ISSUER is specified twice for backwards / forwards compatibility.

    QR Code

    See and

    Example use with qrcode.js in the browser:

    'use strict';
    var el = document.querySelector('.js-qrcode-canvas');
    var link = "otpauth://totp/{{NAME}}?secret={{KEY}}";
    var name = "Your Service";
                                                  // remove spaces, hyphens, equals, whatever
    var key = "acqo ua72 d3yf a4e5 uorx ztkh j2xl 3wiz".replace(/\W/g, '').toLowerCase();
    var qr = new QRCode(el, {
      text: link.replace(/{{NAME}}/g, name).replace(/{{KEY}}/g, key)


    All non-alphanumeric characters are ignored, so you could just as well use hyphens or periods or whatever suites your use case.

    These are just as valid:

    • "acqo ua72 d3yf a4e5 - uorx ztkh j2xl 3wiz"
    • "98.24.63"

    0, 1, 8, and 9 also not used (so that base32). To further avoid confusion with O, o, L, l, I, B, and g you may wish to display lowercase instead of uppercase.

    TODO: should this library replace 0 with o, 1 with l (or I?), 8 with b, 9 with g, and so on?

    90-second Window

    The window is set to +/- 1, meaning each token is valid for a total of 90 seconds (-30 seconds, +0 seconds, and +30 seconds) to account for time drift (which should be very rare for mobile devices) and humans who are handicapped or otherwise struggle with quick fine motor skills (like my grandma).

    Why not SpeakEasy?

    It doesn't use native node crypto and there are open security issues which have been left unaddressed.


    npm i authenticator

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    (MIT or Apache-2.0)

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