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Q: How do I login to MIT services that leverage Duo two-factor authentication?

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Authenticating via Touchstone with the Duo authentication requirement enabled

  1. Launch a webpage (Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer), that requires Touchstone authentication and begin to authenticate as normal
  2. Once you have completed the Touchstone authentication steps (via Certificates, kerberos tickets or kerberos username and password), you will be prompted for Duo Authentication
  3. Select your Device and choose a Method
    Touchstone@MIT page with Duo Authentication screen.
    • Duo Push (smartphones with Duo app installed)
    • Phone Call (default for landline)
    • Passcode request via SMS
  • (Optional) Remember this device for 30 days: If you choose this, Duo will treat your device as "trusted".

Duo Push

  1. A request will be sent to your mobile device via the Duo app
    You must have an active mobile (cellular) or wifi connection to receive this request
  2. Tap Approve on your Mobile Device's Duo app. It should look similar to one of these:
    Example of Duo Push with Android Example of Duo Push with iOS |
  1. Result: Your web browser's Touchstone session should automatically complete authentication
    If your mobile phone doesn't automatically show the Duo Push request, you can force a refresh of push requests by tapping and dragging the "MIT" account downwards on your phone.

Phone Call

  1. An automated attendant will call your phone
  2. Answer and wait for the Duo automated message to begin playing
  3. Push any valid dialpad key on your phone (0-9,# or *) and hang-up
  4. Result: Your web browser's Touchstone session should automatically complete authentication

Effective January 23,2024 - Touchstone will no longer accept passcodes from the Duo mobile app as a second authentication factor. Passcodes sent via SMS will be limited to one per message, with a five-minute expiration time.

  1. Request a new passcode
    For a mobile phone that can accept SMS messages, you can request an SMS passcode by clicking the link underneath the passcode prompt in the Touchstone authentication window

    Duo Authentication page with circles highlighting 'enter passcode from text' and 'text me new codes links'.

  2. Enter the passcode obtained from the SMS message
  3. Click Login
  4. Result: Your web browser's Touchstone session should automatically complete authentication
    If you type the incorrect passcode, you will be prompted to enter the correct one or you can choose another device or method

Connect to a Duo-protected Microsoft Windows machine with Remote Desktop Connection (RDP)

  1. Launch Microsoft Remote Desktop and enter the hostname or IP address of the machine you wish to connect to (note: you may have to connect to MIT's VPN service to use RDP).
    Microsoft Remote Desktop with hostname entered.
  2. When presented with the Windows login screen, enter your MIT username and password.
  3. In the field labeled "Duo Password" you can enter one of the following options:
    1. push - Duo will send a push notification to your registered cell phone with the Duo Security mobile app installed
    2. sms - Duo will send an SMS to your registered cell phone
    3. phone - Duo will call your registered cell phone
    4. The one time code generated by your hardware token or the Duo Security mobile app (the code changes ever 60 seconds)
      Example of Windows login screen with push in the Duo Password field.
      In this example, we've entered "push" in the "Duo Password" field.
      'How to call different devices'
      If you have multiple devices that can use the same method, for instance two mobile phones or two phones that can receive phone calls, you can reference them by different numbers. For instance, to call the top device on your managed devices page (, you can use 'phone' (for the default) or 'phone1' to call the second phone, you can use 'phone2'.

  4. In this example, you will receive a push notification on your cell phone. Click Approve.
    Duo Mobile having received a push notification.
  5. The remote Windows system should now complete authentication and the Remote Desktop Connection will complete.
    Loading screen for Windows.

Acquire Kerberos tickets for a Duo-protected principal using kinit

  1. Log into an Athena machine (e.g. ssh
    Terminal with command 'kinit amunch/root' entered.
  2. Initiate Kerberos ticket acquisition (e.g. kinit username/root) and enter the appropriate Kerberos password when prompted.
    Note: not all Kerberos accounts will be protected with Duo. Typically, only root accounts or users with escalated privileges (e.g. username/root or username/extra) will be protected with Duo.
    Terminal with prompt for password.
  3. The Duo two-factor system will now challenge your login asking for a method to contact you. You can hit the "Enter" key to see all the options available to you. By default, option "1" will send a push notification to the Duo mobile app.
    Terminal with prompt for with authentication method to use.
    In this example, we've entered "1" as the option.
    Note: You will not see any input on the screen as you type.
  4. Duo will now output, "Press return after completing Duo authentication."
    Terminal with prompt 'Press return after completing Duo authentication.'
  5. In this example, you will receive a push notification on your cell phone. Click Approve.
    Duo Mobile app with push notification.
  6. Back in your console window, click the Enter key.
  7. If you have not received any error messages, you should be back at the > prompt and have valid Kerberos tickets.
    Terminal with standard input.
  8. You can view your Kerberos tickets by running klist from within your console window.
    Terminal with output of Kerberos tickets from running the command 'klist'.

Also See
Configuring MacPorts Kerberos for Duo Authentication

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 25, 2024

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  1. May 09, 2013

    If your Duo app does not receive push notifications, it might mean your phone lost its network connection. Try turning Wifi off and on. Or try using the six-digit entry code instead of using push notification.

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