29th December 2022

Protect your business from 2FA bypasses

What is two factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication, more commonly known as 2FA, is a security process in which a user is required to provide two different authentications in order to access a system or service. The goal of two factor authentication is to increase security by adding an extra layer the login process. This is usually a secure password, and one other code. This can be done through a text code to your phone, an email link, or through an authenticator app. This makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access to the system or service, because they would need to have both the correct password and the correct security token.

How can hackers get around two factors authentication?

While 2FA can significantly improve the security of a system or service, it is not 100% impossible to bypass, and could be rerouted by hackers. There are several ways that hackers might try to bypass 2FA, some of which are not as technical as you might think.


Using fake pages, that look like the real thing, hackers are able to get around 2FA by getting the target to enter their details. When the password is entered, a fake email or request to use the authenticator app on their phone is generated asking for the code. 


This method does require a bit more technical involvement, malware is software that is installed on the target computer. This method requires the user to click on a link or email attachment so the software can be installed. Once this has happened, the hacker can wither intercept the code, or just bypass the 2FA entirely. 

SIM swapping

Also known as SIM jacking, is a type of cyber-attack in which an attacker gains access to a victim's phone number by tricking or manipulating a mobile phone provider into transferring the victim's phone number to a device controlled by the attacker. With control of the number, the hacker has free reign over the 2FA. 

Social engineering

This is probably the most successful, and common ways hackers get information. Social engineering is a form of psychological manipulation, which is used to deceive a victim into giving out sensitive information. Have you ever seen posts saying “your x name is your first pets name and the first road you lived on” on social media? These are one of many socially engineered phishing schemes. With technology that allows hackers to make their number look like a reputable company, they can also call you to verify a purchase, or check activity on your accounts. Always check who you are talking to, and don’t give out information to anyone who calls you. The real company will be fine with you calling back to make sure. 

What can you do to keep your information secure?

While it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of 2FA being bypassed, there are steps that users can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening. These include using strong, unique passwords, being cautious about responding to suspicious emails or phone calls, and keeping their devices and software up to date. It is important for users to choose 2FA methods that are secure and difficult for hackers to bypass, such as security tokens or mobile apps that generate one-time codes.

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