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RSA tokencode timeout

Posted on 2011-03-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have an RSA SecurID appliance and we utilize the tokens that display the tokencode for 60 seconds.  I was shocked to recently learn that the tokencodes are actually valid for 3 minutes.  I had always assumed that once the tokencode had lapsed 60 seconds, then the server would no longer recognize it either.  That's incorrect.  Since that's the case, I guess I don't understand why the tokens don't just present the tokencode for 3 minutes.

My question is this:  Does anyone know if it's possible to configure the RSA SecurID server to only recognize the tokencodes during the 60 seconds that the codes are presented on the token?

We logged a case with RSA and the technician said it can't be adjusted.  I'm not certain if that was an official statement from RSA or just the opinion from the technician of the day.  I attended a security conference in which one of the speakers pointed out that in some cases the RSA timeout could be as high as 10 minutes and his recommendation was to decrease that.  So now I'm not certain if the speaker didn't have his facts straight or the RSA technician didn't have his facts straight.

Anyone had any experience with this?  Anyone else shocked that the tokencodes are valid long after they're no longer displayed on the token??
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Question by:SBSIAdmin
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Accepted Solution

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jako earned 50 total points
ID: 35042972
The interval is set longer than the actual display to allow some of the inevitable clock shift. This is by design, because it would not be feasible nor profitable to build timekeeping electronics as accurate as you would like inside the relatively cheap piece of hardware what the token really represents.
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Author Closing Comment

by:SBSIAdmin
ID: 35073061
I think the one response I received made sense, but I was hoping someone would have some additional detail as to whether or not this particular setting can be adjusted.
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by:jako
ID: 35073300
C? O RLY? Let's review:
"someone" - could it be "RSA technician" in the OP?
"whether" = "can't" -> thus it is hardcoded.

You were not looking for the answer you said in the closing post. I think you came here for encouragement to disassemble. Well, you do have the binaries running in your RSA server. If you're feeling lucky or play the disassembler game regularly at "impossible" level, you could seek the hardcoded value which could be delta (half the interval) or absolute (full interval). If you find the value through cognitive skills, trial or sheer luck, please feel free to post your results :)
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Expert Comment

by:jako
ID: 35073342
Also, be prepared to swap a lot of the tokens :P
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Author Comment

by:SBSIAdmin
ID: 35073516
I try not to read between the lines of one dimensional text, but I'm definitely sensing attitude and I'm not certain where it's coming from.  I feel as though you're the creator of RSA SecurID and somehow I've offended you.

My original question was this:
Does anyone know if it's possible to configure the RSA SecurID server to only recognize the tokencodes during the 60 seconds that the codes are presented on the token?

My closing post said "I was hoping someone would have some additional detail as to whether or not this particular setting can be adjusted".

So I'm unclear as to why you would suggest that I wasn't looking for this answer.  From my perspective, my original and closing posts were clear and consistent.  I was trying to determine if this parameter was customizable or not.

I certainly didn't post this question on EE looking for "encouragement to dissassemble".  Thank you for your vote of confidence, but I'm definitely not that much of a bit-head.  I like to stay within the constraints of the application as designed by the vendor.  As I indicated in my original post, I attended a security conference in which one of the speakers recommended closing the gap during which RSA tokencodes are valid.  I was simply trying to determine if the speaker was misguided, or can those values really be set.

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