I’ve given some hints at what we’ve been working on lately, by my choice of article topics.
Credential Providers have been my headache for a couple of months now, not least of which is because Microsoft haven’t quite provided all the working code they ought to have done for Windows Vista. Windows 7, now that works just fine. So that’s what we’re supporting – Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (essentially Windows 7 Server) – with our new release of 2ndAuth.
[We’re still supporting 2ndAuth for Windows Server 2003 / Windows XP / Windows 2000, and will be releasing patches, new features and updates as necessary]
To whet your appetite, here’s a screen-shot of 2ndAuth at work on a Windows 7 system:
Notice that when 2ndAuth detects that you’ve selected to log on to a shared user (by a confusing coincidence, this one has a first name of “Shared”, and a last name of “User”), it prompts you for a second authentication (hence the name), which requires that the actual user enter another set of credentials (these should be their own credentials, and shared users cannot vouch for other shared users). This is then written to the Windows Event Log so that you can check who has been accessing which shared accounts and when.
Unauthenticated / failed attempts are also logged, but it’s difficult to say how useful it is to read that, since the failure could be with an invalid user name as much as an invalid password.
Terminal Services / Remote Desktop Connections are supported, too, as well as locking and unlocking the workstation (e.g. handing off to another user part way through a procedure).
The goal here is to acknowledge that sometimes you can’t help using a shared account, and the best thing to do is to provide a mechanism whereby you can discover who is responsible for the use of that account.
I’ll be adding a download link to our products page for 2ndAuth in a little while, but in the meantime, please feel free to ask me any questions about this service – either in the blog comments here, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.