April Fools: From Duo to Trio: three-step verification now required for UB student accounts

A variety of nautical flags that can be used for Duo's new three-step verification process.

By April Fuhlz

Published April 1, 2020

UB added Duo two-step verification in 2019, requiring a personal device as well as a password to log into most UB services. Beginning April 1, UB students will be required to use a third step.


More isn’t always better. But, in this case... maybe it is?

UB Information Security Officer Mark Herron explains the new strategy: “In the old days you just had a password. That’s one ‘factor.’ Now you also get a message to your phone or something similar. That’s a second factor, and that makes things safer” he says. “So what if you added a second, second factor?” Mark beamed.

The new verification methods

Beginning April 1st, you will also be able to verify your UB logins using any of the following:

  • Magic 8 ball. Sometimes the old technology is the best. Ask it about your crush, then enter its reply into Duo.
  • Nautical flags. UB Tech Squad will come to you, anywhere on campus, and signal your one-time password to you using nautical flags. Don’t worry—it’s really not as complicated as it looks.
  • “Scream signature” biometrics. Just scream nonsense syllables at your device (please include both vowels and consonants), and Duo’s voice recognition technology will identify you immediately.
  • Unsolved math problems. Somebody sent you a file in UBbox? Simply prove the Riemann Hypothesis or solve any of the seven famously unsolved Millennium Prize problems and you’ll be granted immediate access.

Two’s company (but three’s mandatory)

Needless to say, everyone is thrilled about the new changes.

“I’m the kind of person who enjoys entering a password when logging in online,” said Noh Boddy-Everr, a sophomore studying classical wordplay. “So naturally, I’m in favor of anything that makes the process of logging in a little longer, even if it’s only a few more seconds.”

Where can I learn more?

UBIT is committed to helping keep your personal information safe... no matter how many steps it takes!

To find out more about two-step (and beyond) verification at UB, visit the Duo pages on the UBIT website.