Microsoft Authenticator Now Generates Strong Passwords

Microsoft announced this week that Microsoft Authenticator, its authentication application for Android and iOS mobile devices, can now generate strong passwords.

Microsoft Authenticator can generate "complex and unique passwords directly in the app," explained Rajat Luthra, a product manager on the Microsoft Authenticator team. "All new passwords are generated using an enterprise-grade password generation algorithm and have built-in randomness," Luthra added.

This password-generating capability is at the "general availability" commercial-release stage for the app.

The complex password generation capability is a remedy against using easily guessed passwords, such as "Password123." The passwords are stored and can sync across all devices that use the same Microsoft account. Users don't have to remember them.

Microsoft prefers the use of a passwordless approach for account sign-ins, and supports it, but "we understand not all identity providers do," Luthra noted. In such cases, users should use "strong, randomly generated passwords," noted Alex Weinert, director of identity security at Microsoft, in the announcement.

The Microsoft Authenticator app has turned out to be a Microsoft hit. It has more than 75 million active users, according to Weinert.

In addition to generating strong passwords, the Microsoft Authenticator app shows users their login history, and provides safeguards such as "location based-access control" and "authentication context," Weinert noted.

Microsoft Authenticator also supports autofill of forms, but just for personal Microsoft account users. Autofill for work or school Microsoft accounts isn't supported as yet.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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