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PW 3.0.160 Preview (weekly update 12 June 2020)


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In the blog post last week we looked at some of the two-factor authentication system upgrades, like the new “remember this computer” feature. This week I finished off the remaining parts, as well as released new versions of both the TfaTotp and TfaEmail modules. 

Auto-enable TFA support
We now have auto-enable support (forced 2FA), which lets you setup two-factor authentication for users, without their input (if they haven’t enabled it already). This is a good way to add a lot of security for very little work. Currently, the module that supports this is the TfaEmail module. That’s because it’s a safe bet to assume the user has access to their email, even if they haven’t specifically setup 2FA. So email is a very good way to nudge people into 2FA, and people are already used to this, as many online services now do it. Considering that the computer can now be remembered, I think it’s unlikely you’ll get any complaints from users. 

Setting up auto-enable is really simple. Grab the latest version of the TfaEmail module and install it. Then go to your ProcessLogin module settings (Modules > Configure > ProcessLogin) and you’ll see an option there to select Email in the “Force two-factor authentication - Type” field. If you want to limit this to specific roles, then you can also do that here. If you don’t select any roles, then it applies to all roles. 

Once setup, any user logging into your admin will be asked to enter an authentication code sent to their email, and they’ll need that code to complete the login. Chances are they’ll also click that “remember this computer” checkbox so that they can skip the code on future logins. 

TfaEmail version 2
The new version of the TfaEmail module also lets you now configure what WireMail module you want it to use for sending authentication emails. If using multiple mail sending services, you’ll want your most reliable and fastest email sending service to handle these kinds of transactional emails. 

TfaTotp version 4
Once users understand the benefits of 2FA, chances are they’ll want to upgrade to TOTP, where they can use a dedicated authenticator app. The ProcessWire TfaTotp module got several upgrades this week. The biggest was the addition of a locally hosted QR code generator (QRCode for PHP by Kazuhiko Arase). No longer does it have to rely upon an external service to generate QR codes (previous versions used Google Charts for QR code generation). In addition, the TOTP TwoFactorAuth library has been updated to the latest version. 

Moving those modules to the core
Speaking of those two modules (TfaEmail and TfaTotp), thanks for your input last week about their inclusion in the core. It sounds like most think it’s a good idea, so I think we’ll go that route. But I need a little more time to do that, so going to hold that update and the 3.0.160 version bump for next week. 

Coming next week: Useful new selector operators
Next week I’ve also got a couple of special new text-matching operators being added to our selectors system that I think you are going to really like. They are operators that are especially useful to those building text search engines, and ones that I’ve found so useful this week that I wish we’d had them since the beginning. I’m excited to add those into 3.0.160 and tell you more about them next week. 

By the way, while 3.0.160 isn't officially the version on the dev branch yet, if you download the current dev branch version (3.0.159), all of the TFA updates mentioned above are present and ready to use. 

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