I don’t use a smartphone(yet) and for the recent engagement I was selected for required setup of MFA/2FA by scanning QR code on Bitbucket, Digital Ocean, Github and AWS accounts.

The other troubles were – GitHub did not list India as region where I could setup 2FA using SMS! AWS did not even list any SMS option!
I initially used Python library – pyotp to decode the secret from the base64 encoded string that I got after scanning the QR code with a online/offline tool, but it was not sufficient as the accounts require the user to supply the OPT for new logins.

Enter Authenticator:


A Chromium and Firefox browser plugin which allows a user to setup 2FA without a smartphone, it even allows scanning the QR code directly from the page that is displayed on the site, and there is also a way to copy paste the secret and register the account. Another advantage is that it works on both of my OSs(Debian and FreeBSD) as it runs in the browser. 🙂

Now I just need to find equivalent addon for Firefox and Seamonkey.

Update 06 May 2019 – This addon is now available for Firefox!

For more reasons why one should avoid smartphones with closed source software, please checkout: